After postponing the annual Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair (KTTF), which usually takes place in Arusha during the first week of June, the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) is facing almost insurmountable pressure from prospective delegates to the event.
As a result majority of would-be-participants of KTTF are now threatening to withdraw their attendance and are claiming reimbursement of the fees they have paid amounting to millions of US dollars. TATO says it has postponed KTTF to June 8 to avoid ‘collision’ with the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meeting scheduled to start tomorrow in the small city.
The Chief Executive Secretary Mustafa Akuunay confirmed the development and appealed to prospective KTTF delegates to understand that the show was rescheduled for their own good. “TATO is aware of this unusual incident. I am here therefore calling for understanding of our sponsors and participants.”
The change of date of KTTF was due to the fact that the AfDB annual general meeting was going to be held on the same date in the city, a situation caused by the current limited conference facilities in Arusha.
While the AfDB meeting expects to attract nearly 3,000 delegates, the same number is also anticipated for the KTTF meeting. This would be big pressure to Arusha to handle 6,000 delegates, sources said.
The Tanzania government had to intervene to request KTTF organising committee to push forward its event for at least a week to give a room for AfDB meeting.
“TATO, the owner of KTTF, would like to apologise to the would be sponsors and participants of 2012 Karibu Fair, which was earlier slated to commence on 1st up to 3rd June and later on moved to 8th and 10th June instead,” Akuunay said.
“This is force majeure,” Akuunay observed , adding: “We are working around the clock to ensure the 2012 KTTF event offers the best and perfect service ever”.
KTTF, the second largest show on the African continent after 'Indaba in South Africa' is registered with United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
KTFF Manager Grace Kimburu is buoyant that this year’s exhibitors will also eclipse the 250 last year 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” she noted.
The fair will draw participants from several Asian and European countries as well as the US. On the African continent exhibitors will come from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, DRC Congo and the host Tanzania.