Dar es Salaam — The move by the Tanzania National Parks to raise parks entry fees may affect domestic tourism since they are too high for low income earners.
The hike in tariff structures will see local tourists pay more as most of the reviewed tariffs range from Tsh5,000 ($3.145) and above for adults. This is more than two times the current Tsh2,000 ($ 1.258) they have been paying to visit parks.
Conservation fees for parks like Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Tarangire, Gombe, Mahale, and Manyara will now be Tsh10,000 ($ 6.2) from the current Tsh1,500 ($0.943) for adults while children will pay Tsh2,000 ($ 1.258).
Commenting on the new fees that were by Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) in Dar es Salaam recently, a local tourist Timothy Vincent said the new charges are too high for an ordinary Tanzania tourist to afford.
"TANAPA should rethink on the raise. It is too high for us taking into consideration that the standard of living is too low yet the cost of living is very high," he reasoned.
Another local tourist, Ms Zena Mkali supported TANAPA increment though arguing that the more than double increment is too high.
According to TANAPA, their major reason for the hike is to meet the rising conservation costs that have come as a result of a general increase in price levels of most commodities and services.
TANAPA, the country's wildlife management watchdog has revised park entry fees for tourists visiting its parks in efforts to accommodate new tourism products and operational costs.
The new entry fee will be effective from July 1, this year and is expected to expire in June 30, 2015.
The authority says that the move also intends to improve tourism facilities and infrastructure such as access roads and bridges and airstrips to cater for the increasing number of visitors and diversify tourism activities in order to provide outstanding visitor experiences in Tanzania.
The record shows that TANAPA tariffs were previously revised for three times in January 2000, July 2004 and July 2006.
Changes in fees are undertaken in different activities such as filming, walking safaris, sports fishing, boating, canoeing and kayaking, night game drives, guiding, vehicle, aircraft landing, entry fee, student, directors pass, bush lunch/dinner and snorkeling.