The Tanzania National Parks has launched the first ever independent media awards aimed at promoting domestic tourism and conservation of game parks.
Introducing what will now be known as the annual 'TANAPA Media awards,' the Public Relations Manager, Mr Paschal Shelutete said effective from this year, the Tanzania National Parks will be conducting its own media awards with the first batch of winners expected to be announced early 2013.
"We are now accepting entries from potential writers, journalists and broadcasters in both print and electronic media outlets," said Mr Shelutete explaining that printed or broadcasted work should be those that appeared in print or aired between January and December 2012.
He said the competition is open to all scribes countrywide and the awards come in two categories the first being stories related or about conservation of National Parks and Natural Resources while the second category should be on promoting domestic tourism.
"Entries are accepted from Radio, Television and Newspapers (or magazines) and there shall be three winners from print, three from TVs and three from Radio broadcast in each of the two categories; in total we shall have 18 winners," said the TANAPA official.
The new development means that TANAPA has pulled out of the annual Tanzania Media Council Awards in which it used to take part of in sponsoring the 'tourism stories' categories.
Mr Shelutete explained that, since tourism was a very important sector and industry in the country, it was time a special media award was fully dedicated to it in efforts to seriously, and especially boost domestic tourism protection of National Parks from invasion of human activities through media awareness.
"We have decided that instead of being just a 'category,' in the annual Tanzania Media Awards, tourism was a very important sector of the country's economy that it deserves its own fully fledged media honoring as far as both tourism and natural resources segments are concerned," explained Mr Shelutete.
The Arusha-based, custodian of the country's 15 National Parks intend to create more categories in the proposed 'TANAPA media Awards' in future to allow more participation and widen the scope of the competition.
The three first winners from each category stand to pocket 1.5 million/- each in addition to certificates, special shields of recognition and education trips to visit tourism attractions in the SADC community.
Second winners will each get 1 million/- with certificates and emblems while the third winners are going to earn 500,000/- each with certificates. Entry forms will be available on line (on TANAPA website) as from this week with entries' deadline dated on 31st of December 2012.