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World’s Biggest Travellers in 2017

The relaxation of borders, increased personal wealth and the influx of budget airlines has made travelling abroad a lot more common in the past few decades. Now, people from all walks of life enjoy travelling abroad in search of sunnier climates, different cultures and great food.

At MoveHub, we wanted to find out just which country’s citizens go on the most international trips a year. Using data from the World Bank and the World Tourism Organisation, we looked at the number of international tourist departures from 111 countries from the years 2007 to 2016 to determine which citizens made the most amount of international trips per capita.

The citizens of Hong Kong were revealed to be the world’s most prolific travellers, with each Hongkonger taking a mammoth 11.4 international tourist trips a year. This comes in spite of a recent slowdown in the Hong Kong economy of recent years. Despite the slight economic lapse, citizens of Hong Kong are travelling abroad as much as ever, due to a relatively high GDP per capita, 12 annual bank holidays a year, and further holidays companies are legally required to give their employees.

American among the least travelled

Despite having the highest GDP in the world, American citizens were reported to be among the least internationally travelled, only making 0.2 trips a year per person. As of 2017, just 46% of Americans hold passports, suggesting that many US citizens have not made the first steps towards holidaying abroad.

Additionally, the US government gives its citizens few annual leave days and is the only OECD country that does not provide statutory minimum annual leave entitlement, meaning that employers have full reign over how much holiday their employees can take.

International holidays on the up in the UK

The study also found that the UK enjoys 0.9 international trips per capita, making Brits the 21st most well-travelled people in the world. The report also revealed that in 2008/9, around the time of the global financial crash and the start of UK austerity laws, the number of people holidaying abroad dipped to 0.8 a year per person. This stat has risen in more recent years. In 2015, for example, each UK citizen enjoyed, on average, one international trip.