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TI News: An information service from Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)

January 28, 2010

U.S. International Travel Abroad Increased One Percent in October 2009 (1)

The U.S. outbound air market totaled 2.9 million in October 2009, up one percent compared to October 2008.  October 2009 marks the fourth straight month of increases in U.S. air travel abroad.  During the first ten months of 2009, the U.S. outbound air market has decreased four percent compared to the same period in 2008.  However, it is up from an eight percent year-to-date decline in June 2009.

U.S. spending in October 2009 by U.S. travelers on passenger fares totaled $2.07 billion, down 26 percent compared to October 2008. During the first 10 months of 2009, spending by U.S. travelers on air and vessel transportation decreased 21 percent to $21.3 billion. Since passenger fare receipts (foreign travelers on U. S. carriers), declined by 14 percent for the year, the balance of trade for passenger fares increased to a $1.4 billion surplus.

Highlights: U.S. Citizen Air Traffic to Overseas Regions, Canada & Mexico

  • Overseas markets are up four percent in October but remains down two percent year-to-date.
  • Europe is flat for the month and decreased four percent year-to-date.
  • Asia is flat for the month and was down six percent for the year.
  • Canada decreased eight percent for the month and was down nine percent for the year.
  • The Caribbean increased 11 percent in October but decreased four percent for the year.
  • For the month, Mexico was down six percent compared to October 2008. For the year, air traffic to Mexico decreased 12 percent.
  • South America was up two percent for the month and increased one percent year-to-date.
  • Central America was down two percent for the month and down one percent year-to-date.
  • The Middle East was up 40 percent in October and up 46 percent for the year.
  • Oceania increased 12 percent for the month but decreased one percent for the year.
  • Africa increased two percent in October and jumped 28 percent for the year.

Industry & Analysis’ Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) collects, analyzes and disseminates international travel and tourism statistics for the U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistical System. To view the OTTI U.S. departure data tables that provide monthly estimates of U.S. air travel abroad by world region and the rate of change each month and year-to-date, please visit: https://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2009-O-001/index.html.

For more detail information on the U.S. international travel abroad research program, please visit

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 1003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone:(202) 482-0140; Fax: (202) 482-2887
Website: www.tinet.ita.doc.gov
Email: Otti@trade.gov

(1) Throughout this report, percent changes posted for U.S. air travelers for October 2009 were calculated by comparing data in October 2009 to data in October 2008. Also, percent changes posted for year-to-date 2009 were calculated by comparing data January - October 2009 to data January - October 2008.