If travel were the patient and a steady tick up of travelers were the benchmark of health, the medical community would be not only impressed but looking for a way to bottle and sell the patient’s success formula. According to a recent survey of the travel industry by CheapOAir, (based on travel departing and returning between January 1 – March 31 for each year from 2013 through 2017.) Travel has been growing by leaps and bounds and has no interest in slowing.

The report prepared by the widely-used flight-focused hybrid travel agency, shows that travel within the United States is up nearly 50% since 2013, while outbound travel to international destinations is up a massive 170%.


Travel Health: Five-Year Highlights

  • In the past five years, domestic travel within the United States has increased nearly 50% with the most significant jump of 15% occurring between 2016 and 2017.
  • Ticket prices for domestic flights in 2017 were just slightly higher than 2016, however, costs still came in 15% lower than 2013. Average domestic ticket price for Q1 2017 was $346.75.
  • Travel from the U.S. to international destinations has seen a substantial increase of 170% since 2013. The largest increase came during the past year with a 30% jump in international trips.
  • Prices to international destinations were down over 17% with an average ticket price of $728.78.

The data indicates a healthy travel industry and gives a positive outlook for an industry with critical economic importance nationwide. According to the U.S. Travel Association:

  • Travel is a $2.3 trillion industry in the U.S., with $990.3 billion in direct travel-related spending in the U.S. by domestic and international visitors in 2016.
  • These visitors support 15.3 million American jobs—roughly 8.6 million direct travel jobs, and 6.7 million indirect and induced jobs.
  • Travel-related spending generated $157.8 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues in 2016.

Top Domestic and International Destinations in First Quarter 2017

Domestic Destinations International Destinations
Los Angeles, CA Manila, Philippines
Chicago, IL Taipei, Taiwan
New York, NY London, England
Dallas, TX Toronto, Canada
Charlotte, NC Seoul, South Korea
San Francisco, CA Mexico City, Mexico
Denver, CO Dubai, U.A.E.
Newark, NJ Istanbul, Turkey
Houston, TX Beijing, China
Miami, FL Paris, France


Best Day to Travel? Thursday

In addition to traffic and pricing data, there are some fascinating travel details. Thursday is the most popular departure day, while Sunday and Monday are the least popular days to depart. The data also showed that travelers are increasing the length of the trips they are taking. In 2013, the average trip duration was 10.03 days, which jumped to 13.61 in 2017. Overall, the total number of U.S. passengers has grown by 85% in just five years, indicating that as flying is becoming increasingly affordable, people are traveling now more than ever.


Travel Industry in numbers infographic