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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

Region Travelers [May 2014] YOY Comparisons YTD Market Share [May 2014]
North America 1,960,000 20% 53%
Europe 1,306,000 8% 16%
Caribbean 624,000 16% 12%
Asia 379,000 3% 7%
South America 144,000 4% 3%
Central America 209,000 11% 5%
Oceania 46,000 15% 1%
Middle East 162,000 12% 3%
Africa 36,000 4% <1%

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

Regions JAN FEB MAR APR MAY
North America 2,439,199 2,442,851 2,846,314 2,750,197 3,030,812
Caribbean 498,620 550,203 705,211 629,774 624,280
Asia 376,296 312,814 397,296 381,817 379,197
South America 127,749 137,612 154,680 123,068 144,464
Central America 219,192 225,540 283,108 213,929 209,012
Oceania 51,774 62,658 60,097 41,314 46,359
Middle East 140,179 119,192 140,706 141,744 162,244
Africa 23,982 21,066 27,950 27,596 36,044
Tags: skiftstats, usa
Photo Credit: A beach in Haifa. gnuckx / Flickr