Americans still spending everywhere else

Last year, 63.6 million Americans traveled abroad, a 1 percent drop from 2007, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. This was the first fall since 2002. Nonetheless, spending grew fro the fifth year in a row to $112.3 billion – up 7 percent from 2007. Americans spent $79.7 billion in foreign countries, with the balance ($32.6 billion) coming from air transportation.

Mexico bucked the trend in 2008: travel from the United States grew by 4 percent. Travel to Canada, the other nearby destination, dropped 7 percent, and overseas excursions were off 1 percent.

In addition to being the top destination for Americans abroad, Mexico led in spending. Americans dropped $11.1 billion with its neighbor to the south, followed by the United Kingdom ($10.5 billion), Canada ($7.3 billion), Germany ($6.3 billion) and Japan ($5.2 billion). U.S. travelers set spending records last year in Germany, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, the Netherlands and Argentina.