The annual Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair (KTTF), East Africa’s premier tourism exposition, is scheduled to take place at the Magereza Open grounds near the Arusha Airport from June 3 to June 5 and is anticipating nearly 7,500 regional and international visitors.
The KTTF is currently the largest exposition of its kind within the East and Central African region the second largest travel industry event in Africa behind the Indaba event in South Africa.
The Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), the official organizers of the event, are expecting this year’s KTTF to be the largest ever and to attract participants from Asia, Europe and North America as well as from Tanzania and other African countries such as the DRC Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
In spite of the effect on the international tourism market that stems from the recent US travel advisory after the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan earlier this year, the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators remains hopeful that this year’s KTTF event will surpass the previous years’ record of 250 exhibitors.
“A total of 265 exhibitors are expected to take part in this year’s fair along with 7,500 regional and international visitors,” said executive secretary of the TATO, Mustapha Akuunay.
According to Mr. Akuunay, the first day of the fair will be dedicated exclusively to travel trade visitors to the exposition, the second will be open to the public and the third is intended to focus on trade visitors and travel visitors.
The primary focus and supporting theme of “Sustainable Partnership” of the KTTF event will be to market East Africa as a single tourist destination and to raise the region’s profile by promoting East African tourism to the global consumer.
Mr. Akuunay went on to explain that this will be accomplished, in part, by bringing all of the key stakeholders in the tourism industry throughout the region together at the same time.
In addition, the KTTF event is intended to help East African tourism industry come together with professionals, visitors and overseas tour agents in order to create an opportunity for networking.
“KTTF brings new destinations, facilities and products to the attention of overseas tour agents; facilitating opportunities for overseas tour agents to visit the national parks and properties” explained Mr. Akuunay.
According to reports, the KTTF events in the past have not only been responsible for generating direct spending in the local economy, but have also helped to create both direct and indirect employment opportunities through the development of small and medium enterprises.
Funding for this year’s KTTF event was provided by the Tanzania National Park Authority, Precision Air, Hanspaul Automechs Ltd, Paradise Express Hotel, Ujumbe Ink and Mount Meru Hotel in collaboration with applied technology (Red & White), Tanzania Breweries Ltd, Tarpo Kenya, KK Security, Arusha Art (Cybernet), Authentic Emergency Services, Knight Support, First Air Responder and Dodoma Transport & Skytel.