Thousands of people from East African Community member States are attending a three-day tourism trade fair in Moshi town after a merger of Karibu Fair from Arusha and Kilifair of Kilimanjaro.
The exhibition, presided over by the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr. Hamisi Kingwangalla, was hailed as it is poised to promote tourism in the country with the foreigners attending it and becoming ambassadors once they return in their countries.
In his speech at Moshi Cooperative University (MoCU) grounds, where the fair is taking place, Dr. Kingwangalla pledged full government’s support for it and later becoming the continental and international show.
He appointed out that the government out that was taking responsibility because tourism sector is vital in the economy and contributes 17.6 percent in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 24 percent in the country’s revenue, besides offering 10 percent employment opportunities domestically.
The show co-hosted by Kilifair Promotion Company and Tanzania Association of Tourist Operators (Tato), would be alternating between Kilimanjaro and Arusha on annual basis.
Dr. Kingwangalla said the Kilifair exhibition has largely boosted the tourism sector, and currently, the country receives more than one million tourists yearly.
He called upon stakeholders and the public to join hands with the government in promoting tourism, saying that the State has taken several measures in the sector, besides launching new tourism areas including coming up with new five National Parks which have been approved by President John Pombe Magufuli.
He hinted that includes revamping the national flag carrier Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) and constructing the Standard Gauge Railway.
On his side, the Kilifair Co-Director, Mr. Dominic Shoo said that this year’s fair has attracted more local and outside exhibitors in attendance. He equally asked the government to support the exhibition show to boost the tourism sector to raise incomes of individuals and companies mainstreaming it.
In a related development, Mr. Shoo appealed to the Kilimanjaro and Arusha regional governments to set aside an extra space for the show-goers who are increasing year in year out, teaming them ‘good ambassadors’ of Tanzania in their countries.
Presiding over, Tato Chairman, Mr. Wilbald Chambulo hinted that this year’s “Karibu Fair’ that has joined Kilifair started with only three pavilions, but after almost a decade, they have enlarged and ‘currently almost running out of space’ because MoCU grounds seem to be small to host all the exhibitors.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, Mr. Nape Nnauye, hailed the merger of the Karibu and Kilifair, saying: “It reminds the public of the strength brought about by unity and will result in an increase in business and tourism in the country.”