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Americans Traveling More Internationally, Including Vietnam


In this March 17, 2016, file photo, a K-9 handler with the Transportation Security Administration walks his dog through lines of travelers approaching a security screening checkpoint at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.

Americans are traveling internationally more than ever, the U.S. Commerce Department says.

[In 2015], Americans took 74 million trips abroad. That is a nine percent increase from 2014. It is also the highest number ever.

The information was released in a recent Commerce Department report.

The department said the countries that U.S. residents visited most often last year were Mexico and Canada – America’s neighbors.

The third-most popular destination was the United Kingdom. The Dominican Republic and France were the fourth- and fifth-most popular places to visit.

France, Spain, and Mexico had the biggest increases in American visitors in 2015, the Commerce Department report says.

Vietnam is also growing in popularity among American travelers. More than 330,000 Americans visited Vietnam in 2015. That is a 33 percent increase from 2014.

Vietnam is especially popular among travelers between 18 and 35, or millennials, says Kim Sykes. She is with Carefree Vacations. She recently spoke with VOA Learning English.

“Vietnam is a popular destination among millennials because it is off-the-beaten- path travel that offers an authentic experience and also provides a lot of bang for the buck,” she said.

By “bang for your buck,” she means a good value.

Sykes also said river cruise lines recently started operations in Vietnam and Cambodia. They are popular among older travelers, she said.

The International Air Transport Association said travel has been increasing in recent months, after a decrease following terrorist attacks earlier this year in Belgium, Turkey and France.

International air traffic was 7 percent higher in September 2016 compared to September 2015. That is the largest year-on-year increase in seven months, the association reported.

“Importantly, this rebound from August weakness suggests that travel demand is showing its resilience in the aftermath of terror attacks,” said Alexandre de Juniac, the association’s top official.

I'm Alice Bryant.

Bruce Alpert reported on this story for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section and share your views on our Facebook Page. What country would you like to visit?

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Words in This Story

destination - n a place to which a person is going or something is being sent

off the beaten path - expression. not the most popular tourism destinations

authentic - adj. real or genuine

resilience - n. ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens

rebound - n. an increase or improvement after a decrease or decline

aftermath - n. the period of time after a bad and usually destructive event​

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