The campaign is targeted at driving world tourist arrivals to one billion by December 2012. In 2011, international tourist arrivals reached 990 million, according to the UN agency.
The campaign, One Billion Tourists: One Billion Opportunities, calls on one billion tourists to make their actions count in changing the travel behavior that can contribute positively on world tourism.
The campaign asks the public to vote for the travel tip they believe would have the greatest benefit for the people and places they visit, from using public transport to buying locally, and pledge to follow that tip when traveling.
“With one billion tourists traveling the world in a single year in 2012, transforming these one billion tourists into one billion opportunities is at the heart of the online campaign launched by UNWTO to celebrate this historic milestone,” the UNWTO said in a statement.
Taleb Rifai, UNWTO’s Secretary-General who launched the campaign at the World Travel Market in London said “Every single person who has traveled in 2012, whether on holiday or business, is part of the one billion and can make a real difference.”
“I hope everyone will join our campaign and help us spread the message that one billion tourists really do mean one billion opportunities, for economic growth, job creation and the future of our planet.”
The UN body says the campaign will culminate on December 13, 2012 when the most popular tip will be revealed and sent out to millions via social media.
It explains that the date, December 13, was chosen as the symbolic arrival day of the one-billionth tourist.
The arrival of the one-billionth tourist will be celebrated in Spain where UNWTO has its headquarters.
The UNWTO encouraged all countries and the entire tourism sector to spread the word about the campaign by becoming official campaign partners and hosting their own celebrations on December 13, raising awareness of the important contribution of one billion tourists.
By Ekow Quandzie