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The number of U.S. citizens traveling abroad in March 2014 increased 7 percent over the same month last year, according to monthly statistics released this week by the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries.

Every month, the OTTI releases data regarding recent travel activity, including details about outbound travel from the United States. This is the most recent month for which this information is available.

March also marks the end of the first quarter during which 14.3 million U.S. citizens traveled outside of the country, also up 7 percent over the same quarter last year.

North America, as usual, captured the greatest market share of U.S. international outbound travel with 43 percent heading to Mexico and 11 percent traveling to Canada.

Travel to both countries increased in March by a total of 11 percent year-over-year.

Among overseas markets, Europe captured 13-percent of outbound travel, or about 1.88 million travelers, in March. The Caribbean is close behind with 12-percent of market share, 1.75 million travelers, in the same month.

One notable change in year-to-date tourism growth is in Latin America. Central America posted an 8-percent increase in visitors for March, but South America saw a one-percent decline.

March 2014 and 2013 YTD Comparisons & Market Share

RegionTravelersYTD ComparisonsYTD Market Share [March 2014]
North America7.7M+ 11%54%
Europe1.88M+ 2%13%
Caribbean1.75M+ 5%12%
Asia1.09M+ 2%8%
Central America728,000+ 8%5%
South America420,000– 1%3%
Middle East400,000+ 9%3%
Oceania174,000+ 7%1%
Africa73,000– 8%1%

Outbound U.S. travel increases every month from the beginning of year leading up to the busiest travel months between June and August.

U.S. Citizen Travel to International Regions in 2014 by Month

North America2,441,8192,445,2772,849,181
South America127,749137,612154,680
Central America219,192225,540283,108
Middle East140,179119,192140,706
Grand Total4,457,3024,371,3655,424,892
Photo Credit: In this Dec. 1, 2013 file photo, travelers walk through terminal 3 baggage claim at O'Hare International airport in Chicago. Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press