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by Jerry W. Bird                               Andrew Young, a close friend of Martin         the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators.
                                               Luther King, plus Rev. Jesse Jackson, Carl     Now in its ninth successful year, Karibu is
While East Africa’s Karibu                                       and Hope Masters, all key    one of only two such events held in Africa;
Fair will celebrate its 10th                                     participant. Hope is the     the other being Indaba in Durban, South
Anniversary from June 4-7,                                       daughter of Leon Sul-        Africa. Now the major travel trade event
2009, the 2008 version could                                     livan. We also spent time    in all of East Africa, the fair has grown
not have been held at a more                                     with several the Tourism     to regional status, with plenty of room to
opportune time - coming on                                       Ministers of Namibia and     grow, once people like ourselves spread the
the heels of two major events                                    Zambia, among others.        good word.
that brought the world to Aru-                                   Three Big Ones               Fly-In or Drive
sha and Tanzania, many for                                       We then scored a “Triple     The many travel agents and tour operators
the first time. We arrived in                                    Whammy,” by covering         we met or were reacquainted with dur-
mid May for the Africa Travel                                    the Karibu Fair. Karibu      ing our stay, feel very much at home here.
Association’s 33rd World                                         is Swahili for “welcome”     They can network and conduct business
Congress, with its focus                                         and the Karibu Fair has      and in an ideal atmosphere, away from the
on marketing Africa Tour-                                        become a powerful magnet     bustle and gridlock of city traffic. Another
ism worldwide. We wisely                                         of trade and tourism, at-    unique, contributing factor we like about
decided to stay for the prestigious Leon H.    tracting visitors from near and far. Among     the Karibu Fair is its location at the Arusha
Sullivan Summit, which brought a grand         several hundred exhibitors are entries from    Airport. Being active in publishing air
array of presidents, ministers and dignitar-   the entire East Africa region, plus Southern   travel and aviation related magazines and
ies from Africa and the Diaspora, plus key     Africa and Europe, almost all of whom          trade shows in Canada since the early 90s,
figures from the USA. Being guests of the      are connected to the safari industry. The      it was a joy to watch a variety of small craft
East African All Suites Hotel, we had the      fair operates in close association with our    doing take offs and landings overhead. On
opportunity to meet former Ambassador          friends at the Tanzania Tourist Board and      hand were familiar names and faces from
our visit to Arusha in 1998, such as Bobby of        tour agents; Facilitate opportunities for         - and returned for an enjoyable and friendly
Bobby’s Tours in Arusha. He drove us                                     overseas tour agents to       encore. Among the many exhibitors are
to the event, with a stop for lunch with                                 visit the national parks      tourist boards, camping and safari compa-
several Russian tour operators. Peter                                    and properties; Gener-        nies, tour operators, air and land transport
Mwenguo and Amant Macha of the                                           ate direct spending in        providers, mountain climbing outfitters,
Tanzania Tourism Board made sure we                                      local economy - accom-        ecotourism companies, wildlife lodges ,
were well introduced. The Zanzibar                                       modations, restaurants,       hotels, camping and equipment manufac-
Association of Tourism Investors                                         transportation, parks,        turers. We found this event’s structure and
(ZATI) invited us to hospitality hour in                                 etc; Create employment        scope similar to the “Adventures in Travel
the large Zanzibar section as a windup                                   - directly and indirectly -   Expo” series in the USA and invited several
on the final day.                                                        by assisting development      new friends to join us in Seattle, Washing-
Solid Foundation and Goals                                               of small and medium           ton, home of Boeing and Microsoft, from
Based on the theme “Get Connected,”                                      enterprises; Build alli-      September 13-14, 2008. We at Africa Trav-
the Fair’s goals are as follows: Raise                                   ances with neighboring        el Magazine are impressed with this event
the show’s regional profile by promot-                                  East African countries,        and will give it global attention through
ing East African tourism to the global market-       and key tourism stakeholders, through com-        our award winning 4,500 page website and
place; Produce the premiere travel and tourism       bined efforts to promote regional tourism.        copies of our magazine distributed in North
trade fair in East Africa; Bring all key industry    What’s Next for Karibu?                           America, Africa and around the world.
stakeholders in East Africa together in one place,   Karibu Fair provides a venue for local and        For more information, visit
at one time; Create opportunities for interna-       regional tourism products and services.           org or visit the Karibu Fair website - www.
tional visitors and overseas tour agents to meet     You certainly won’t experience it all in a
and network with members of the East African         few short hours. The exhibits and the folks
tourism industry; Bring new destinations, facili-    in the booths are just too interesting! We
ties and products to the attention of overseas       spent most of an entire day on our first visit

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