Tourism: 1 billion travelers take to the road in 2012

Summit County Citizens Voice

Travel continues to boost economies around the world

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — As expected, global tourism hit a significant milestone late this year, with more than 1 billion travelers taking to the skies, seas and highways to visit destinations near and far, according to the World Tourism Organization, which closely monitors world travel statistics.

Tourism growth continued in 2012 despite continued economic challenges. The WTO said the relative strength of sector underscores the economic importance of tourism, accounting for 9 percent of global GDP (direct, indirect and induced impact), one in every 12 jobs and up to 8 percent of the total exports of the world’s least developed countries.

“Today, we welcome the symbolic arrival of the one-billionth tourist” UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said Dec. 13 at a ceremony in Madrid.

Rifai emphasized travel and tourism as a potentially powerful force for good:

“Your actions count. That…

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