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Despite Weaker Dollar AAA Expects Gains in Summer Travel By Americans

May 5, 2008 By: George Dooley

In a first-ever summer forecast for foreign travel, AAA expects 25.1 million Americans will traveling abroad this summer, an increase of 2.6 percent over the 24.5 million who were estimated to have traveled overseas last summer. The report includes all travel outside of the United States, including Canada and Mexico.

According to the report, produced by Global Insight, American travelers will spend $30.7 billion while traveling internationally during June, July and August– an increase by 5.7 percent, primarily due to inflation and the weakness of the U.S. dollar.

Canada and Mexico will see the largest amount of traveler spending, with American travelers planning to spend $5.6 billion in Mexico and $4 billion in Canada. The next highest destinations for traveler spending are expected to be Italy ($2.6 billion), the United Kingdom ($2.0 billion), France ($1.7 billion), Germany ($1.2 billion) and Hong Kong ($645 million).

“Foreign travel is still the ideal trip for many Americans, and summer is the prime season to go," said Betsy Sell, managing director of travel for AAA. "With more Americans required to get passports as part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), we are going to have more people looking to explore other parts of the world this summer.”

China and India are expected to see the largest increases in travel from the U.S. this summer, with China expected to see a 13.4 percent increase (573,000 American travelers) and India a 13.1 percent increase (227,000 American travelers). Travel to Canada is expected to see a slight drop of 0.8 percent (5 million American travelers) with travel to Mexico increasing by 1.3 percent (5.8 million American travelers).

Many of the other destinations that are expected to see big increases this summer are in Europe. Travel from the U.S. to France is expected to be up 6.7 percent (1.1 million American travelers), Ireland up 6.6 percent (337,000 American travelers), Italy up 4.7 percent (1.6 million American travelers) and Germany up 4.4 percent (724,000 American travelers). These increases are consistent with AAA’s own bookings, which show a 5 percent increase in tours to Europe.

Travel agents can view the full report at:

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