Is the cost an issue why S!TE 2015 is still looking for exhibitors?


(Posted 09th July 2015)

With just over two and a half months to go before the second S!TE tourism trade fair goes underway in Dar es Salaam, have news emerged that less than 60 percent of the available exhibition space has been sold. A source from Dar es Salaam in fact suggested that the organizers had gone into deep discounting with tables on offer for a fee of US Dollars 600 owing to a lack of commitment for fully fledged stalls amid murmurs over the high cost of attendance.

In the process of speaking to the local media was Ms. Devota Mdachi, Director of the Tanzania Tourism Board, also quoted to have said that last year only 18 hosted buyers had accepted TTB’s invitation to attend the show, compared to over 160 hosted buyers who attended the Magical Kenya Travel Expo in Nairobi, a stark contrast, at the time ably described by Mr. Denis Gathanju of Safari Communications, who attended the inaugural SI!E exhibition and shared his impressions here.

In a case of mistaken identity was this correspondent then accosted at the launch of Air Seychelles’ flights to Dar es Salaam last December by a staff of the Tanzania Tourism Board and blamed for spreading misinformation about the show, which at the time appeared largely boycotted by members of TATO. At the December verbal exchange were significantly higher buyers numbers mentioned, again a sign how being overly zealous often turns counterproductive when dealing with the media when eventually the true figures come out.

The Tanzania Association of Tour Operators itself of course organizes the Karibu Travel Market Tanzania as it is now known and their reaction to the launch of S!TE last year was largely explained as being in response to, what some of their leading members called ‘an ambush by TTB to outcompete KTMT besides using a foreign based organizer’.

It is expected that some of these festering sentiments have been laid to rest since then between TATO and TTB and that more local companies will take advantage to exhibit in Dar es Salaam this year and promote Tanzania as a tourism destination.

The challenges now explained of course are seen as similar to the recent KiliFair in Moshi, where, just a week after a hugely successful Karibu Travel Market Tanzania show the KiliFair organizers equally had an uphill task to compete with their better organized and longer established competitors.

Regular sources from Arusha in the meantime also expressed some sentiments over the still thin lineup of known keynote speakers and the lack of details for a parallel workshop the organizers of S!TE promised would take place this year, a reminder to the organizers to put all available information immediately out into the public domain if they wish to succeed better this year.

For added information about the fair and how to sign up as an exhibitor click on

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