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The number of U.S. citizens traveling abroad in May 2014 increased 15 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.

A total 5.9 million U.S. citizens traveled abroad in May, bringing the year-to-date total to 25.4 million travelers.

Travel to both countries increased in May by a total of 20 percent year-over-year. This is slightly lower than 25-percent year-over-year increase experienced in April, which was likely caused by the Easter holiday.

Among overseas markets, Europe captured 16 percent of outbound travel, or about 1,306,000 travelers, in May. The Caribbean was close behind with 12 percent of market share, or 624,000 travelers, in the same month.

The Caribbean and Oceania posted the highest year-over-year growth, 16 percent and 15 percent respectively, in May.

This is switch-up from April when Central America and the Middle East experienced the most growth.

U.S. Citizen Outbound Travel May 2014

RegionTravelers [May 2014]YOY ComparisonsYTD Market Share [May 2014]
North America1,960,00020%53%
South America144,0004%3%
Central America209,00011%5%
Middle East162,00012%3%

North America, as usual, captured the greatest market share (53 percent) of U.S. international outbound travel with 40 percent heading to Mexico and 13 percent traveling to Canada.

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

North America2,439,1992,442,8512,846,3142,750,1973,030,812
South America127,749137,612154,680123,068144,464
Central America219,192225,540283,108213,929209,012
Middle East140,179119,192140,706141,744162,244
Tags: skiftstats, usa
Photo Credit: A beach in Haifa. gnuckx / Flickr