Skift Take

U.S. outbound travel increases consistently from the start of the year until the summer months where it peaks until the holidays. March; however, sees a travel bump from school holidays and mid-winter breaks.

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

Region Travelers YTD Comparisons YTD Market Share [March 2014]
North America 7.7M + 11% 54%
Europe 1.88M + 2% 13%
Caribbean 1.75M + 5% 12%
Asia 1.09M + 2% 8%
Central America 728,000 + 8% 5%
South America 420,000 – 1% 3%
Middle East 400,000 + 9% 3%
Oceania 174,000 + 7% 1%
Africa 73,000 – 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

Regions January February March
North America 2,441,819 2,445,277 2,849,181
Europe 577,691 497,003 806,663
Caribbean 498,620 550,203 705,211
Asia 376,296 312,814 397,296
South America 127,749 137,612 154,680
Central America 219,192 225,540 283,108
Oceania 51,774 62,658 60,097
Middle East 140,179 119,192 140,706
Africa 23,982 21,066 27,950
Grand Total 4,457,302 4,371,365 5,424,892

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Tags: skiftstats, tourism, usa

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

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