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Sunday, March 3, 2024
March 3, 2024

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Mexico top 2022 destination for U.S. travelers

Survey finds 33.5 million headed south last year


Mexico was the top hotspot among Americans who booked travel as the COVID-19 pandemic came to a close.

A new Outbound Survey of International Travelers released by the National Travel and Tourism Office shows that 33.5 million Americans went to Mexico in 2022.

Not only does that make Mexico the most popular destination among Americans last year, but that figure also represents a 17 percent increase over the number of Americans who visited their neighbor to the south in 2021.

The top overseas destination for 2022, meanwhile, was the United Kingdom, which attracted 3.7 million American travelers.

Canada also welcomed its fair share of Americans in 2022. About 9.1 million to be exact, a figure that’s a whopping 334 percent over 2021.

A total of 80.7 million Americans traveled outside the country last year, which is 64 percent more than 2021. The 2022 figure amounts to 81 percent of travel levels from 2019 (when 99.7 million Americans traveled internationally.)

Additional report highlights for 2022 include:

  • American visitation to overseas countries in 2022 (38.1 million) increased 109 percent from 2021, which amounts to 85 percent of 2019 levels.
  • The top overseas countries visited were the United Kingdom (3.7 million), France (3.1 million), the Dominican Republic (2.7 million), Italy (2.6 million), and Germany/Spain (both 2.0 million).
  • Top states of residence for U.S. travelers to overseas destinations were California (5.4 million), New York (5.1 million), Florida (4.5 million), Texas (2.9 million), and New Jersey (2.5 million).

The report also revealed a variety of other noteworthy characteristics about Americans who traveled abroad in 2022.

For instance, those who did so were among the most affluent Americans: The average U.S. outbound traveler had a combined annual household income of $148,000. In addition, these same travelers stayed on vacation an average of 17.9 nights.

Two-thirds of those who participated in international travel last year did so to vacation, while 44 percent were visiting friends or relatives. Business travel continues to lag well behind, accounting for just 9 percent of international trips among Americans in 2022, not having fully recovered from the pandemic perhaps.

The travel industry’s recovery also continued as 2023 began, according to the SIAT report. For the second quarter of 2023, the number of U.S. outbound air travelers to overseas countries was up 8.9 percent over the second quarter of 2019.

The top overseas countries Americans are heading to this year? The United Kingdom still leads the pack with 1.6 million Americans headed to the country as of the second quarter of 2023. That’s a 25 percent increase over 2019.

Additional top destinations for the first two quarters of 2023 (compared with 2019 figures) include:

  • Italy: 1.5 million visitors. Up 35 percent
  • France: 1.3 million. Up 22 percent
  • Dominican Republic: 993,000. Up 14 percent
  • Spain: 867,000 visitors. Up 18 percent