Proliferation of tourism shows – good or bad for the industry?


(Posted 10th May 2015)

What on earth for do we need another tourism show just days after East Africa’s biggest regional show has taken place’ asked a well-placed source from Arusha, where from 29th of May until 31st of May the annual Karibu Travel Market Tanzania 2015 is taking place.

The source then took another did when adding ‘Like that show last year in Dar, we have seen who is supporting the KiliFair in Moshi. If they think we will be swayed by them adding yet another think like that they are mistaken. KTMT 2015 is supported by the entire industry, all the tour and safari operators, the lodges, the resorts. We have attendance confirmed from the whole region. Exhibitors are coming from the continent of Africa and from way out in the Indian Ocean. We know what our detractors are up to and we are not scared. KTMT is an established tourism trade fair which has grown over a very long time. Let others not think they can make a success because of one or the other sponsor they got. One of those sponsors is opposed to us because we told them last time they ambushed us instead of consulting us. The other sponsor has just made a tactical error not to talk to those who butter their bread’ remaining deliberately vague over those the source clearly had in mind but would not name directly, nor give permission to use the source’s name.

It is the KiliFair, taking place in nearby Moshi, which is due to be held from June 05th to 07th, by funny coincidence just a week after the Karibu Travel Market Tanzania has closed its doors.

Another source then hastened to add that while the KiliFair was having tourism and industry fair in its title, it had made an error to encroach on the established KTMT tourism exhibition and was not likely to receive much support from tourism companies as renewed debate will no doubt begin to rage about one of the key sponsors becoming a key spoiler as far as the Karibu Travel Market Tanzania was concerned.

Yet others took further exception that the new show was purporting to offer tourism networking and workshops when in fact the who is who from Eastern Africa would just have done the very same at the Karibu Travel Market, giving the new venture little chance to offer serious stakeholder names for such programme points.

Other stakeholders in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, when asked if they were aware of the new event, and one so soon after KTMT had taken place, were largely dismissive, with one senior source from Nairobi also condemning what he called: ‘…this proliferation of tourism shows must be ended. In Kenya we have two main events, the Sarit Centre domestic exhibition and the international Magical Kenya Show, which caters for two different market places. In Uganda you have one such show, I gather Rwanda may want to come up with one perhaps aligned to Kwita Izina and yet in Tanzania they are now adding yet another one. It makes no sense because we all have limited resources and with TATO’s Karibu event we know what to expect and how far we can reach’.

Well, as the saying here goes time will tell how this new event will do and which event will in the end prevail as a result of stakeholder support. For more information about KTMT 2015 click on or else visit

4 Responses

  1. East Africa tourism has suffered greatly with the international travel trade deserting the area due to the terrorism threats and foreign office embargos. Kilifair would be best supported by the stake holders to promote the domestic and regional markets to the indigenous population rather than relying on international visitors. Stop bickering amongst yourselves and start promoting your beautiful countries to your own.

  2. Dear Wolfgang,

    My Name is Tom Kunkler – and I am one of the KILIFAIR Directors. I appreciate your free Advertising for KILIFAIR and invite you to visit KILIFAIR 2015 as our VIP guest! Unfortunately I have to tell you that you are VERY wrong with most mentioned Facts which were not well researched or thought of. You should have contacted us before the article went online, in order to get a proper and true Information about KILIFAIR 2015.

    Here are the facts:

    1) KILIFAIR is an additional Tourism & Industry fair to promote the KILIMANJARO Region and well supported with that idea in mind by Tanzania Tourist Board, TANAPA Government & all government institutions in the Kilimanjaro Region incl. Hon. Regional Commissioner Leonidas Gama & his Offices.

    2) There is a huge demand for an own Tourism fair in the KILIMANJARO Region since many years, as it is the most powerful Tourism Region in Tanzania! This fact is proofed by 140 (!) signed in exhibitors from the Tourism industry (see our for details) for KILIFAIR 2015. Please also consider that it’s our first year! Many tour companies have booked Karibu Fair & KILIFAIR as they see the potential to promote their product in 2 different regions. Thereof it is very wrong that you said “there is no support from the tourism industry for KILIFAIR”… unless 140 exhibitors are all wrong and not counted in your eyes.

    3) Our Marketing campaign is big and massive and includes all East African countries, as well as ZA, Europe and the USA. If you can’t see any advertising, I am sorry, then you are not our target group. We are a Tourism Fair – not a social Event.

    4) The date: The reason to choose the date 1 week after Karibu Fair has 2 important reasons. The first one is that Karibu Fair has changed the date with short notice back in 2011. In that year all exhibitors were shocked and felt “messed around” and we have planned the first “TOKU Outdoor – Open House Fair” in Moshi. It was running for 3 years very successful with many tourism stakeholders and ALWAYS 1 week after Karibu Fair since then. We have picked up that date as the “extension” of the TOKU fair, as the Region is used to it. The second reason is that International agents are in the Country because of Karibu Fair already, or get more convinced to fly in to attend two fairs – instead of one. This is an important aspect for international travel Partners and a HUGE BENEFIT FOR THE TANZANIAN TOURISM.
    The Formula is easy: More agents & travel partner = more tourists.

    Do you still think that KILIFAIR has no right to exist? Please be our VIP guest during KILIFAIR 2015. I am happy to get your Feedback on

    It would also be nice if you write another article on the positive development & organization of KILIFAIR 2015.

    Please don’t miss my invitation – I wish to meet and impress you!

    Yours sincerely.
    Tom Kunkler
    (Director KILIFAIR Promotion Co. Ltd)

    1. Thank you for your feedback Mr. Kunkler which makes
      interesting reading indeed.
      Two things indeed stand out, one being your suggestion
      that I am ‘wrong’ and that I should have contacted YOU
      and then adding that if I did not see any advertising
      it is because I am not in your target group because
      your event is a tourism fair and not a social media
      If you had done some research you would of course know
      that this blog is not a social media affair but arguably
      the most widely read tourism, aviation and conservation
      blog in the wider region and perhaps it should have been
      included in your pre-fair promotion and media engagement.
      In fact, I speculate that at this stage you may even
      have regrets not having been more procative in this regard.
      After all, in your own words, your marketing campaign was
      BIG AND MASSIVE and yet managed to miss me, well, almost
      anyway had it not been for me doing my job right, scanning
      for news and events in the region and getting the
      information I required.
      In my article I reflected the concerns of a good number
      of individuals who are of course closely linked to the
      Karibu Travel Market Tanzania. I hope you shared your
      ‘concerns’ over their change of date four years ago with
      them, after all you had four years to do so, and seek
      some form of mutual accommodation to avoid staging two
      tourism fairs in rapid succession just 50 odd kilometres
      from each other. THAT I do call a proliferation, a word
      perhaps not chosen were the two events several months apart.
      I also thank you for your, albeit belated invitation to
      attend your fair but I am already otherwise committed
      in the region. It is for the same reason that I had to once
      again turn down an invitation to attend KTMT 2015 as their
      guest and to report from on site.
      Thanks for finally reading my blog.