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UN confirms record one billion international tourists in 2012

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elephantsGlobal tourism has achieved a new record as one billion tourists travelled around the world, the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has said.

The one billionth tourist made the arrival December 13, 2012, the UN agency stated.

“Today, we welcome the symbolic arrival of the one-billionth tourist,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

The UNWTO admitted that it was impossible to know exactly where the one-billionth tourist arrived but many countries celebrated the occasion by welcoming tourists.

The agency said it celebrated the mark in Madrid, Spain, home to its headquarters, by welcoming the symbolic one-billionth tourist in the Museo del Prado, Madrid’s most-visited tourism attraction, together with the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism of Spain.

The one billionth tourist figure, according to the UNWTO, cements tourism’s position as one of the world’s largest economic sectors, accounting for 9% of global GDP (direct, indirect and induced impact), one in every 12 jobs and up to 8% of the total exports of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

By Ekow Quandzie

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