With only about 30 percent of Americans holding a valid passport, it is estimated that very few Americans travel abroad for vacation or business, according to the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism (OTTI).
A group of tourists on Segway personal transporters take a guided tour of Capitol Hill in Washington. Americans surveyed seemed to suggest that the economy-rattled, notoriously isolationist Americans are set to take to the road more during 2011.
About 60 percent of Canadians and 75 percent of Britons have passports and the US figure is comparatively very low.
OTTI said that the number of trips made outside the country in 2009 was 61.5 million, down by 3 percent from the previous year.
"Americans are comfortable in their own environment," Bruce Bommarito, chief operating officer of OTTI, said while stating reasons for the fall in US outbound tourism.
However, travel industry experts and US travelers attribute the reason for lesser overseas travel to the vastness of their country and a few geographical and economical factors.
“America is so culturally rich and diverse, and not to mention the importance of the cross-country trip in our cultural mythology, we love to travel in the U.S., since there's so much here,” writes Rosie Gray in her blog on the Village Voice.
Gray writes that the present “tough economic times make sense not to travel right now; that's one of the first expenses that gets shunt.”
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