In a bid to keep the sector going, the Tanzanian government has announced plans to significantly lower hunting permit fees.
The relief comes shrouded by coronavirus threat which is the push behind the announced review of annual hunting blocks license fees.
Local media quoted the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Constantine Kanyasu, announcing the fee slash plans. According to the high government official, the planned fee cut is in response to requests by hunting companies who are complaining of reduced bookings owing to the global coronavirus threat.
“The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism will meet hunters again before the end of this month to inform them on the government’s action to rescue the subsector,” the Deputy Minister told media.
On behalf of the hunting companies, the Tanzania Hunting Operators Association (Tahoa) pointed out that there is still room to review the fees ahead of the hunting season that commences in July and runs through to December.
Tanzania receives more than 1,500 hunting parties every year which rack in more than USD 200,000 per year. To protect this much need revenue, the country, through its responsible ministry is warrant to reduce the hunting license fees.
Already the country is suffering a great blow in its tourism sector which is a major foreign currency earner and contributes more than a quarter (27 percent) of the country’s GDP. With such staggering amounts at stake, the country cannot afford to lose any more revenue. Cutting down the license fees is in effect a strategic approach to keeping the business going and even attracting new clientele.
The threat of coronavirus may very well be a wakeup call for Tanzania and other African countries as well. Tanzania for example is very well endowed with immense and vast natural resources including one of the World’s largest wildlife varieties.
The country has some 32 game reserves and 16 national parks, its wildlife flora and fauna are unprecedented the world over. Within these parks and game reserves, Tanzania has all of hunters’ favourite picks including the big five, lions, buffaloes and leopards as well as a huge variety of gazelles, zebras and birds.