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January 13, 2011

U.S. International Travel for Third Quarter and Year-to-Date 2011

U.S. citizen outbound market totaled 45.3 million travelers for the first nine months of 2011.

Year-to Date Market Share

U.S. travel to overseas (1) markets achieved a 46 percent share of all U.S. outbound international travel.

  • Europe was 8.6 million visitors, with an 19 percent share;
  • Caribbean was 4.7 million, with an 10 percent share;
  • Asia was 3.0 million, with a seven percent share;
  • Central America was 1.7 million, with a four percent share;
  • South America was 1.2 million, with a three percent share;
  • Middle East was 1.0 million, with a two percent share;
  • Oceania was 364,000, with a one percent share; and
  • Africa was 279,000, with a one percent share.

North American markets received 54 percent of all U.S. international outbound travel.

  • U.S. travel to Mexico was 15.1 million visitors, with a 33 percent share (4.2 million traveled by air); and
  • Canada was 9.4 million, with a 21 percent share (2.8 million traveled by air).

Third Quarter Year-over-Year (2011/2010) Comparisons

U.S. travel to overseas markets was up three percent in the third quarter. Regional results were:

  • Europe was up four percent
  • Caribbean was down one percent
  • Asia was up five percent
  • Central America was up five percent
  • South America was down three percent
  • Middle East was up nine percent
  • Oceania was down four percent
  • Africa was down one percent

U.S. travel to North American markets was down two percent.

  • Mexico was down one percent and the air markets were down four percent.
  • Canada was down three percent and the air markets were flat

Total U.S. outbound travel, 17.1 million in the third quarter, was flat. July, August and September were up two percent, down three percent and up one percent, respectively.

As previously reported, methodological changes in tallying U.S. international travel statistics were made in July 2010. Having moved from the paper-based manually processed DHS I-92 form to the paperless automated Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) made the first half 2011 vs. 2010 comparisons difficult. This is due to how citizenship is recorded, which is more accurate since July 2010. The anomaly carried forward through the second quarter of 2011. Improvements under APIS include an electronic document system (eliminates keypunching from hard to read paper documents), rigorous accountability for all international flights and port-to-port detail now available on the U.S. - Canadian market. Also, monthly air travel data will be available soon after month-end.

For background information on the restructuring of U.S. international travel data, please link to: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/tinews/archive/tinews2011/20110927.html and http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/tinews/archive/tinews2011/20110630_US_International_Outbound.html

OTTI now reports total U.S. outbound travel by month. Total travel (all modes) to Canada and Mexico is provided along with their traditional air-only subtotals.

For detail information and data tables please visit: https://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2011-O-001/index.html

Thank you for your patience during the transition period when this program was totally re-engineered, both by Department of Homeland Security and Department of Commerce. We look forward to making continued enhancements to this program.

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
Website: www.tinet.ita.doc.gov
Email: otti@trade.gov

(1) Overseas markets reflect non-stop air-only data. A portion of the non-stop passenger traffic to Europe will not visit Europe, but will connect through one of Europe's airline hubs (LHR, AMS, FRA, CDG, MAD, etc.) to Africa and the Middle East. The adjustment to these regions, reflecting visitation (1+ nights), occurs after year-end data is compiled.