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  Chapter Seven:

  Professional Sports
  Track and Field
  National Parks
  Boy Scouts of America
  Land Speed Record
  Overseas Travel



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Overseas Travel

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Overseas travel by Americans greatly increased during the latter part of the century, but the number of foreign visitors to the United States increased even more.
For most of the century, the number of Americans who went abroad for business or pleasure exceeded the number of foreigners who came to the United States. During World War II, international travel for business or pleasure almost disappeared. 

In the 1950s, the jet airplane ushered in a new era of international travel. The number of foreigners visiting the United States and other tourist destinations grew rapidly. Indeed, in the last half of the century, the number of foreign visitors to the United States increased one hundredfold, while the number of American visitors abroad grew more than thirtyfold. In 1980, for the first time, foreign travelers to the United States outnumbered American travelers abroad. Although this pattern did not hold from 1982 through 1990, foreign visitors to the United States again outnumbered American visitors abroad for much of the last decade of the century. Japan, the United Kingdom, and Germany provided the largest contingents of visitors. Their favorite destinations were New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Orlando, Oahu, and Las Vegas. 

Europe was still the preferred destination for American travelers, but the Far East was close behind. Within Europe, the leading tourist destinations were London, Paris, and Rome, as well as classic attractions such as Florence, Venice, the Swiss Alps, and the French Riviera. Business destinations were more widely distributed. 

The chart does not cover travel to or from Canada and Mexico. Figures on international travel within North America are difficult to interpret because so many people made multiple or even daily border crossings. It appears that the volume of traffic between the United States and its close neighbors grew at least as much as the volume of overseas travel.

Chapter 7 chart 6

Source Notes
Source Abbreviations

HS series H 921 and H 941. See also SA 1974, tables 355 and 357; SA 1980, table 427; SA 1988, tables 389 and 390; SA 1991, tables 421 and 423; SA 1998, table 455; and SA 1999, table 459.


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