Fewer Americans traveled abroad last year
U.S. citizens cut back on travel abroad last year, particularly to overseas countries, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In 2010, 37.4 million U.S. citizens traveled by plane nonstop outside of the country, a 4 percent decrease from 2009, according to a report released Tuesday by the federal agency.
The statistics for foreign travel in 2010 show that the number of Americans traveling to Australia and South and Central America dropped by double digit percentages compared with 2009. Travel from the U.S. to Europe and Asia also dropped but not as dramatically.
Meanwhile, travel to the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada increased by 11% or less in 2010.
The Department of Commerce noted that the agency converted from a paper-based manual process of counting foreign travelers to a digital method in July 2010. The change in method halfway through the year could skew the final percentage numbers, the federal agency said.
-- Hugo Martin
Photo: A U.S. passport. Credit: Los Angeles Times