The countdown to the annual second premier travel and tourism fair in Africa, with a special focus on promoting the new tourists allures and destinations to the outside world, has begun.

Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair (KTTF), the second largest show on the African continent after Indaba in South Africa, is registered with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The fair will run from May 31 - 2nd June, 2013 in Tanzania’s northern safari capital of Arusha. The KTTF is expected to attract more than 7,500 visitors from EA partner states, South Africa, China, the US, and Europe.

Organizers are buoyant that this year’s exhibitors will also eclipse last year’s record of 250, in spite of an international tourism market subdued by the Eurozone debt crisis and terrorists attacks.

“Nearly 300 exhibitors are expected to take part in this year’s fair, along with media and thousands of regional and international visitors,” said Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) Executive Secretary Mr. Mustapha Akuunay.

The KTTF will draw participants from several Asian, European, and US countries. From the African continent, exhibitors will come from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa, Seychelles, Zambia, Zimbabwe, DRC Congo, and the host, Tanzania.

With little more than two weeks to go to KTTF, which takes place at the Magereza Open grounds near Arusha Airport, so much anticipation and excitement is building up to this event that some have called it “the most significant show.”

According to KTTF acting Manager, Sirili Akko, the first day of KTTF will be exclusively for the travel trade, while the second day will be open to the general public to interact with exhibitors and delegates.

The last day will be especially for trade visitors and travel writers with entertainment, sky diving, and business exchange.

This year, the KTTF fair focuses its attention on marketing the EA as a single tourist destination, an initiative that, along with others, puts the show in an enviable, and potentially enormously lucrative, position.

The major objective of 13-year-old KTTF is to raise the regional profile by promoting EA tourism to the global market and to bring all key industry players in EA together in one place, at one time.

The fair also aims to create opportunities for international visitors and overseas tour agents to meet and network with members of the EA 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.

Part of the uniqueness and excitement of the KTTF is that it is an outdoor event that offers a real safari experience.

“Since America continues to be EA’s number-one source market for tourists, we are making a special effort to attract more travel agents from the US market,” Mr Akko noted.

The Karibu fair in Swahili, meaning “welcome” travel show is wholly owned and run by TATO.

For the past 13 years, KTTF 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 EA partner states, and brought together key tourism stakeholders through combined efforts to promote regional tourism.



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