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The number of U.S. citizens traveling abroad in April 2014 increased 17 percent over the same month last year, according to monthly statistics released this week by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office.

Every month, the NTTO 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.

One reason for the significant increase in tourism year-over-year was due to the timing of the Easter and Passover holidays. Easter fell on April 20, 2014, as opposed to March 31 the year prior. Passover in 2014 was April 14 to 22 while in 2013 it was March 25 to April 2.

North America, as usual, captured the greatest market share of U.S. international outbound travel with 42 percent heading to Mexico and 12 percent traveling to Canada.

Travel to both countries increased in April by a total of 25 percent year-over-year. This is significantly higher than 11-percent year-over-year increase experienced in March.

Among overseas markets, Europe captured 14 percent of outbound travel, or about 868,000 travelers, in April. The Caribbean was close behind with 12 percent of market share, or 683,000 travelers, in the same month.

Central America and the Middle East posted the highest year-over-year growth, 19 percent, in April. This is the second month in a row that Central America posted the highest growth.

South America was the only region to post a decline, one percent, in both March and April.

U.S. Citizen Outbound Travel April 2014

RegionTravelers [April 2014]YTD ComparisonsYTD Market Share [April 2014]
North America2.8M14%54%
South America123,000-1%3%
Central America214,00011%5%
Middle East142,00012%3%
Africa28,000– 4%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 America2,439,1992,442,8512,846,3142,750,197
South America127,749137,612154,680123,068
Central America219,192225,540283,108213,929
Middle East140,179119,192140,706141,744
Grand Total4,454,6824,368,9395,422,0255,177,806
Tags: skiftstats, usa
Photo Credit: United offers a subscription program for its Economy Plus seating, assuring up-front revenue for the airline. United Airlines