Skift Take

Nine months in to 2016, outbound U.S. tourism is confirming our earlier position that this was going to be an excellent year for foreign travel. A strong currency helps outweigh fears of violence and even Zika.

Some 2.8 million U.S. citizens traveled abroad in September, up five percent over September 2015, according to monthly statistics released this week by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office.

This brings U.S. citizen overseas travel to 27 million in the first nine months of the year, up seven percent for the year (this excludes travel to Mexico and Canada).

Every month, the National Travel and Tourism Office 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.

Through September, travel to overseas locations accounted for 44 percent of U.S. outbound international travel while 54 percent went no farther than Canada or Mexico.

Europe and the Caribbean remained the most popular destinations throughout September capturing a total 28 percent of all travel.

The greatest growth among overseas markets year-over-year was in Asia-Pacific, up nearly 13 percent with more than 450,000 travelers in September. The Caribbean, despite its popularity, had one of the smallest year-over-year increases and was up three percent to nearly 417,000 travelers in September.

U.S. travel to border nations of Mexico and Canada increased 13 percent compared to September 2015 with the most growth seen in Canada. American visits to Canada increased 16.6 percent to 1.4 million travelers. U.S. travel to Mexico increased about 10.5 percent to 2.1 million travelers for September.

Including Mexico and Canada, 6.3 million U.S. travelers took international trips in September for nearly 61 million outbound trips year-to-date.

The full statistics can be found below:

Number of U.S. Travelers Visiting International Destinations in September 2016



September 2016 Market Share By Destination for Outbound U.S. Travelers



Source: U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office


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Tags: canada, mexico, skiftstats

Photo credit: Some 2.1 million U.S. travelers went to Mexico in September, accounting for 37 percent of U.S. outbound travel for that month. Pictured is a beach in Cancun, Mexico. Gabriel Flores Romero /

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