Tourism continues to flourish around the world, and the latest statistics show that American visitors to China and Brazil are the highest ever.
Earlier this year, both countries welcomed larger percentages of their top American citizens than at any time in history, the U.S. Travel Association, a Washington-based travel trade group, reported in an update on its website. China topped 5 million visitors, the first time the country had ever cracked the 5 million mark. Brazil drew more than 5 million visitors, up 10 percent from the year before.
“China is set to surpass the United States as the world’s largest source of international travelers by the end of next year,” said USTA president and CEO Roger Dow.
Average visitor numbers from China and Brazil have reached the top six nations of origin, notes the report, which was developed as part of the annual USTA Tourism Outlook.
The travel association also cites statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce, which notes that more Americans who travel abroad are visiting the Middle East than any other region, followed by South America, Europe and Asia.
The trend toward Middle Eastern travelers is even more notable, considering that travel from the Middle East often requires travel to parts of the world that are economically unstable or in difficult-to-access, dangerous areas. The USTA report says visa difficulties and other political issues can make that less of a concern for Arab travelers.