Despite economic growth predicted to slide in the near future, U.S.-based tour operators estimate an increase in the outbound travel. The latest report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Travel Commission (ETC), the number of tourists to Europe, from the U.S. is expected to grow.

The report, presented at the recently concluded World Travel Market 2011 exhibition in London, provides insights into the outbound travel market in the U.S. and estimates that the number of tourists in Europe, during 2011, is set to be more than the 11 million last year.

Although the industry's focus has turned towards emerging markets like the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, we should not forget Europe's most significant market, the USA, said Petra Hedorfer, ETC President.

Although the details of the research are yet to be published, the UNWTO expects it to help European destinations better shape their products and marketing towards the US outbound market according to Taleb Rifai, the UNWTO Secretary-General.

According to Rifai, in 2010, the U.S. spent $75 billion on travel abroad. The country is still the second most important source market in the world and Europe, as one of the preferred destinations for U.S. travelers, should be able to cash in on this market and identify emerging trends.