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.
Recalling the power of travel and tourism in driving economic growth and sustainable development, the One Billion Tourists: One Billion Opportunities 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.
“Imagine the difference one tourist could make by adopting small changes, from using their towels for more than one day, to hiring a local guide or buying local products. Now imagine if these simple actions were multiplied by one billion; that is the power of one billion tourists,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, launching the campaign at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London.
UNWTO is encouraging 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 13 December, raising awareness of the important contribution of one billion tourists, by voting for the best tip, by joining the Thunderclap campaign or sending travelling photos for UNWTO’s One Billion Facebook album.
The campaign will culminate on 13 December when the most popular tip will be revealed and sent out to millions via social media. The date, 13 December, has been chosen as the symbolic arrival day of the one-billionth tourist. While it is impossible to know exactly when and where the one-billionth tourist will arrive, UNWTO forecasts point to December. The arrival of the one-billionth tourist will be celebrated by the UNWTO Secretary-General in Spain, home to UNWTO headquarters.