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Who Travels the Most? [Chart]

August 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

Ever wonder which regions around the world have the most travelers? According to the World Tourism Organization or UNWTO, Europeans travel more than all other regions combined with a whopping 52.8 percent of all outbound tourists. Asia and the Pacific (21 percent) and the Americas (16 percent) make up most of the rest of the outbound travelers with the Middle East (3.8 percent) and Africa (2.9 percent) rounding out the field.
who-travels-the-most Who travels the most by region [Data © UNWTO and Chart © Enduring Wanderlust]

It’s not surprising that Europe lands in the number one spot, but it’s eye-opening that more Europeans travel than the rest of the world as a group. Despite the massive population advantage of the Asian region, it’s still curious that the Americas fell behind that area. The Americas had more tourists from 1990-2005, but Asia and the Pacific has maintained the lead since 2005. That said, it’s nice to see that all regions have seen significant gains in overall outbound tourists in the past two decades.

Where do all these tourists go? Read about the 10 most visited countries.
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.


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14 Responses to “Who Travels the Most? [Chart]”
  1. Andrew says:

    I’m moving to Europe! That’s amazing that so many Europeans travel. I think more Americans should get their passports so we can catch up.

  2. Shiels says:

    Europeans have a lot of time off from work and lots of money (in general) so that helps. To have more than the rest of the regions though is eye-opening for sure.

    Impressed by Asia. With the two most populated countries that will definitely impact the numbers.

  3. Gennaro says:

    @Andrew I’m all for an increase in the number of passports issued.

    @Shiels Good points of Europe.

  4. ANIL KOHLI says:

    This survey has really changed our perception. We all used to think that USA is the major producer, I think due to recession in USA the scenario has changed and Europe has emerged the top producer. We now have to keep our records updated and go for his particular area.

  5. Erin Smith says:

    I am actually surprised that the American traveler percentage is as high as that. Whenever I travel abroad, people are surprised when I tell them I am American. We have a reputation of staying home!

  6. EUcitizen says:

    If this is only international travel, it makes a lot of sense that Europeans would “travel more”. If you compare the areas (info taken from wikipedia), the USA have about 9.83 million km2 or 3.79 million square miles, while all of Europe has 10.2 million km2 or 3.93 sq mi. Europe has about 50 countries, the US has 50 states. I think that, to be able to compare how much Europeans travel vs. how much US citizens do, visiting another state within the US should be included. Otherwise you’re comparing apples to oranges, really. Here in Europe most countries are small enough that, for a lot of us Europeans, a neighboring country is just a few hours’ drive away and “international travel” is no big deal at all.

  7. Gennaro says:

    @EUcitizen You make a lot of good points. I would also note though that a lot of Americans travel to Mexico and the Caribbean on short flights. Plus millions cross into Mexico (Texas and California have the highest U.S. populations and border it) and Canada.

    @Erin Smith I meet a lot more non-Americans traveling too.

  8. I was going to say just what @EUCitizen said. How do they define travel? Nights spent away from home? Or airplane trips? Or visits to other countries? And of course, the point about the longer vacations than the U.S. nearly anywhere else in the world counts for a lot.

  9. Lester says:

    If I lived in Europe I’d travel more, too! Small countries and cheap airfares make it all possible.

  10. Tony Payne says:

    I am not surprised at the statistics, since most Europeans get 23+ days off a year as soon as they start a job. Many Americans get no vacation the first year, 10 days up to 5 years, and 15 days after that. Change your job or lose it and you are back to zilch!

  11. any idea on a break down per country? also, technically speaking, i don’t know that the EU states are particularly accurate … it’s pretty easy to engage in ‘international’ travel when your passport provides open access to virtually every other country on your continent!

  12. Realist says:

    Cameron – I think they meant journey’s outside their region when they made this chart!

  13. Ellie says:

    I assume this means Europeans travelling outside of Europe…. If not, it’s not a huge surprise having so many countries so close together.

  14. Will Peach says:

    No real surprises in this chart, though I didn’t think the percentage of Europeans over the rest would be quite so high. Then again, I think it’s something like only 30% of Americans even own a passport!