Acapulco, Mexico

U.S. Air Travel To Overseas Totaled 41.8 Million, Mexico is The Most Popular Travel Destination of Americans

The U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office announced a record-setting 93 million departures in 2018, a six-percent increase over 2017. 45% of the 93 million Americans (41.8 million) traveled outside the United States flew to overseas destinations, a 9% increase from 2017.

 Annual 2018/2017 Comparisons

U.S. air travel to overseas markets (1) totaled 41.8 million, up nine percent for the year. Regional results were:

  • Europe, 17.7 million travelers, up 12 percent
  • Caribbean, 8.3 million travelers, up five percent
  • Asia, 6.3 million travelers, up eight percent
  • Central America, 3.2 million travelers, up seven percent
  • Middle East, 2.4 million travelers, up six percent
  • South America, 2.1 million travelers, up nine percent
  • Oceania, 861,000 travelers, up 11 percent
  • Africa, 432,000 travelers, up seven percent

U.S. travel to North American markets totaled 51.3 million, up four percent compared to 2017.

  • To Mexico, U.S. travelers totaled a record 36.9 million, up six percent
  • ‘Tourist’ (longer haul travel) 19.1 million, up four percent.
  • U.S. air travel to Mexico (10.1 million), part of ‘Tourist’, was up three percent
  • Border (1+ nights travel) 17.8 million, increased eight percent.
  • To Canada, 14.3 million U.S. travelers, ‘flat’ year-over-year. Air travel (4.6 million) was down four percent

Annual 2018 Market Shares

U.S. air travel to overseas locations accounted for 45 percent of total U.S. outbound travel, up one percentage point from 2017. Regional composition:

  • Europe, a 19 percent share (up one percentage point from 2017);
  • Caribbean, a nine percent share; (down one percentage point from 2017)
  • Asia, a seven percent share;
  • Central America, a four percent share;
  • Middle East, a three percent share;
  • South America, a two percent share);
  • Oceania, a one percent share, and
  • Africa, almost a one percent share

North American markets received 55 percent of all U.S. international outbound travel.

  • U.S. travel to Mexico a 40 percent share;
  • To Canada, a 15 percent share (down one percentage point from 2017).

36.9 million traveled to Mexico, making the North American country as the most popular travel destination of American travelers.

For detailed information and data tables please visit:

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