International tourism hits one billion mark

ONE billion tourists travelled the world in 2012, setting a new record for international tourism, according to UNWTO.

The agency noted that the one-billionth tourist had arrived today, although the destination of arrival was unknown.

Despite global economic uncertainty, international tourism continued to grow in 2012, eventually gaining a traffic figure that cements tourism’s position as one of the world’s largest economic sectors, accounting for nine per cent of global GDP and up to eight per cent of total exports of the world’s Least Developed Countries.

In light of this, UNWTO launched the One Billion Tourists: One Billion Opportunities campaign to celebrate the milestone, showing tourists that respecting local culture, preserving heritage or buying local goods when travelling can make a big difference.

As part of the campaign, the public was asked to vote for the travel tip that would have the greatest benefit for the people and places they visit and to pledge to follow that tip when travelling.

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