TANZANIA (eTN) East Africa’s leading tourism exhibition, the Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair (KTTF), will kick-off this Friday in Tanzania’s sprawling tourist city of Arusha.
Now in its 11th year edition, Karibu Fair stands as the largest and most ambitious travel industry event in East and Central Africa. As such, it has become “the place to meet,” for the region’s travel industry partners with others from around the world.
Organizers of the fair, the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), said the 2010 Karibu Fair, taking place June 4 to 6 just outside of Arusha, Tanzania’s northern safari capital, promises to be the largest ever.
The annual event is organized by the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), and Tanzania’s ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
“Tanzania is very proud that the Karibu Fair, what started as a modest initiative, has evolved into a major travel industry showcase for all the East African destinations,” the director of marketing for the Tanzania Tourist Board Mr. Amant Macha said.
Mr. Macha added that a special target during the 2010 Karibu Fair would also be directed to tap the rich and strong American safari market. Since America continues to be Tanzania’s number-one source market for tourists, special effort to attract more travel agents from the US market is in progress.
“There are currently over 1,400 qualified Tanzania travel agent specialists in the US, and we hope to encourage them to participate by offering special pre- and post-safaris,” Macha said.
Part of the uniqueness and excitement of the this premier travel fair is that it is an outdoor event that offers a real safari experience. Over 250 exhibitors and thousands of regional and international visitors are expected to attend the 2010 fair, open to the trade June 4 and the public June 5 and 6, respectively.
Travel industry suppliers, large and small, including tour operators, tourist boards, hoteliers, support service representatives, and equipment manufacturers are typical participants.
International travel trade journalists regularly cover the event along with local media, and familiarization trips are being offered to encourage international travel agents to attend.
During the fair, a special soccer bonanza will be part of the climax activities to the event.
Track records show that the Karibu Fair has been pulling in more participants every year. Last year, the fair attracted an attendance of over 5,000 trade visitors with 250 exhibitors.
Traditional exhibitors are from The United Kingdom, South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya Zimbabwe, and Namibia. A number of travel and tourism agents come from Germany, Australia, Holland, Canada, South Africa, Britain, and the United States.
Karibu Fair is also a travel trade platform targeting to raise the East African safari profile by promoting regional tourism to the global marketplace, to produce the premiere travel and tourism trade fair in East Africa, and to bring all key industry stakeholders in East Africa together in one place at one time.
The fair is also aimed at creating opportunities for international visitors and overseas tour agents to meet and network with members of the East African tourism industry; bring new destinations, facilities, and products to the attention of overseas tour agents; and facilitate opportunities for overseas tour agents to visit the national parks and properties.
For the past ten years, the Karibu Fair has generated direct spending in the local economy, created direct and indirect employment by assisting development of small and medium enterprises, built alliances with neighboring East African member countries, and brought together key tourism stakeholders through combined efforts to promote regional tourism.