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2012: Where Americans Traveled

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel & Tourism Industries has released it report on American’s overseas travel in 2012, providing a big-picture view of travelers’ predilections when it comes to international trips.

Overall, U.S. citizens logged 60.7 million international trips (air and non-air) in 2012, up 3 percent over last year, and the first year-over-year increase since 2007.

Not surprisingly, travel to other North American countries accounted for the majority of American’s trips outside the country, with a 53 percent share. Canada trips were up 2 percent, year over year, to 19.5 percent. Mexico trips were up 1 percent, with a 33.5 percent share.

The other international trips broke down as follows:

  • Europe: 19 percent
  • Caribbean: 11 percent
  • Asia: 7 percent
  • Central America: 4 percent
  • South America: 3 percent
  • Middle East: 3 percent
  • Oceania: 1 percent
  • Africa: 1 percent

The largest annual increases were for trips to the Middle East (up 11.4 percent) and Central America (up 10.9 percent), albeit on relatively small bases.

Europe trips increased 3.9 percent over 2011, and Caribbean trips were up 6.7 percent.

Reader Reality Check

How do these numbers square with your own preferences and plans for international travel?

This article originally appeared on

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