A New Study from Timetric Ranks Scandinavians as the World’s Most-Travelled People, the US as the Largest Domestic Tourism Market and China as Having the Most Outbound Trips in 2013

According to Timetric’s new data, Scandinavians travel the most, with the four Nordic countries all in the top five. The Finns top the chart with an average of 7,5 trips per person a year, followed by Sweden (6), Denmark (5,3) and Norway (5,2).

According to Arnie van Groesen, travel and tourism analyst at Timetric, the reason Scandies travel so much comes down to money, weather and holiday traditions: “People in Scandinavia can afford more trips due to high incomes and relatively low unemployment rates. Cost of living is relatively expensive in Scandinavian countries, meaning that if they go abroad they’ll often get more value for money. The weather conditions make them attracted to less severe conditions in the southern part of the world, such as the Spanish beaches.” Norwegians make two international trips a year on average, the highest in Europe.

The average American takes 6,7 trips a year. A large majority of these are domestic trips, making the US the largest domestic tourism market in the world in volume terms. International travel is very limited. Only one in every five Americans makes an international trip a year and fewer than half of Americans own a passport.

Van Groesen said: “Going abroad is costly and the US is such a vast country it doesn’t lack things to see and do.” He said visiting friends and family was the main reason for domestic trips, as many Americans live in a different state from the one where they grew up, making it natural for them to travel back multiple times a year, with Thanksgiving and Christmas being peak periods. Many Americans and others from more excluded parts of the world, such as Australia, prefer to take longer and fewer trips abroad.

People from Hong Kong are the sixth most-travelled in the world. Although domestic tourism is almost nonexistent, the average Hong Kong national takes 4,3 outbound trips a year, 74% of these to China. Mexico ranks surprisingly high, performing better than all the BRIC countries. Domestic tourism, especially, is very popular with 1,7 domestic trips a year.

China has the highest amount of total outbound trips with 97,3 million trips in 2013. The ratio, however, is very low as the majority of the Chinese population don’t take international trips at all, but those who do, travel frequently.