Tanzania is seeking to attract well-off Americans as it targets the growing game hunting tourism market.
Last week, Tanzania Tourism Minister Damas Dumbaro was in Las Vegas to market the country’s hunting safaris at the 50th Annual Hunting Convention.
Dodoma said the tour was meant to ‘market Tanzania’s hunting blocks before the rich American hunting tourists and other trophy hunting investors around the world’.
Dr. Ndumbaro led a delegation of tourism officials to the World Hunting Association meeting, which brought together 870 exhibitors showcasing trophy wildlife parts from several countries.
“We will market hunting blocks then attract international hunting companies while learning about new strategies that would make hunting safaris more profitable to earn more revenues to the government,” the minister said.
Tanzania is focusing on attracting high-spending tourists such as those who can afford a 21-day hunting safari that costs about $60,000, excluding flights, gun import permits, and trophy fees.
Trophy fees for hunting an elephant and a lion are the most expensive. Hunters are required to pay $15,000 to kill an elephant and $12,000 for a lion under strict regulations by wildlife authorities.
Hunters are only allowed to kill stray elephants and lions and the aged, and unproductive animals.
US hunting ban
The US had in 2014 imposed a ban on all wildlife-related products from several African countries including Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia after rampant poaching was reported by the American media and wildlife protection campaigners. It lifted the ban in 2018.
Former US President Barrack Obama had in 2013, during his visit to Tanzania, issued the executive order to fight wildlife poaching in African countries.
Tanzania is currently allocating wildlife hunting blocks through auction, aiming to increase transparency and allow competition to raise more revenues.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism said it collected $8.2 million during the seven-day hunting blocks allocation auction held in January.
Under the new system, first and second-class hunting blocks will be held by the owner or hunting company for 10 years, an increase from the previous five years, while owners of third-class hunting blocks will run them for 15 years.
Tanzania has also waived various taxes charged to foreign hunting companies to attract more hunters.
Eligible hunting companies can be allocated up to five hunting blocks each.
Hunting blocks in Tanzania are confined to 38 wildlife reserves, controlled game reserves, and open areas.
The Wildlife Act 2009 gave professional hunters rights under the Tourist Hunting Regulations.
Original story on The Citizen