TANZANIA (eTN) – Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), the owner of annual Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair (KTTF) is all out to clean its image following the rescheduling of the event.
The annual KTTF, which normally takes place in Tanzania’s northern safari capital of Arusha during the first week of June, has now been postponed to June 8 to avoid collision with the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings, which starts on May 28 in the similar small city.
TATO Chief Executive Officer, Mustafa Akuunay, says that the change of date of KTTF was due to the fact that the same date, in which the show would take place, collides with AfDB’s annual general meeting being held at Arusha and more so would be using the similar facilities.
It is understood that while the AfDB meeting is expecting to attract nearly 3,000 delegates, the same number was also anticipated to take part in KTTF, putting a small city like Arusha under renewed pressure since it has no capacity to accommodate 6,000 visitors at a go.
The government of Tanzania had to chip in and request the KTTF organizing committee to push forward its event for at least a week to give a room for the AfDB meeting.
“TATO, the owner of KTTF, would like to apologize to the would-be sponsors and participants of the 2012 Karibu fair, which was earlier slated to be held on June 1-3 and was later on moved to June 8-10 instead,” Mr. Akuunay said in Arusha.
TATO’s CEO said that his association in reaching this decision considered the situation whereby its participants and delegates were scrambling over the accommodation facilities with those of AfDB – this, they thought, would have been more damaging than the inconvenience that might have been occasioned by changing the date of event.
“This is force majeure,” Mr. Akuunay said, adding, “We are working around the clock to ensure the 2012 KTTF event offers the best and [most] perfect service ever.”
The 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).
KTFF Manager, Ms. Grace Kimburu, is buoyant that this year’s exhibitors will also eclipse the 250 last year’s records, in spite of an international tourism market subdued by the euro crisis.
“Nearly 300 exhibitors are anticipated to take part in this year’s fair along with media and thousands of regional and international visitors,” said Ms. Kimburu.
The KTTF will draw participants from several Asian, European, and US countries. On the African continent, the exhibitors will come from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, DRC Congo, and the host, Tanzania.
According to Ms. Kimburu, the KTTF’s first day will be exclusive for the travel trade, while the second day will be free for the general public to interact with exhibitors and delegates.
The last day will be special for trade visitors and travel writers where there will be entertainment, sky diving, and business exchanges.