Tanzania National Parks set to keep tariffs in place for at least one more year


(Posted 15th March 2015)

Confirmation was received over the weekend that TANAPA, the Tanzania National Park Authority, has apparently decided to hold park entrance tariffs which were due for upward revision, until 2016.

Last revised from 01st July 2013, and initially due to be valid until 30th June 2015, did the move come as a surprise of sorts, especially as TANAPA apparently acknowledged that there was a downturn in business in 2014. Attributed to the punishing anti-travel advisories against neighbouring Kenya and in the second part of last year the trend to shun much of Africa over entirely unjustified Ebola fears did the previous steady increase in visitor numbers come to an abrupt halt and equally suffered a downturn.

It is something when a state organization admits to reality. We have been saying that increasing tariffs has a detrimental effect on travel into the parks. We therefore add a third reason to what TANAPA has said, that the park fee increase in 2013 was too high and shocked the market. Together with the Kenya situation and the Ebola campaign against parts of Africa not affected at all has all this contributed to break our constant visitor increases. We paid the price and I congratulate TANAPA for showing some wisdom this time and keeping tariffs for at least another year’ contributed a regular Arusha based source.

TANAPA is also engaged in efforts to raise fees from lodges and camps in the parks through a new royalty regime but has been unable to implement new charges in the absence of ministerial consent. It is feared that should the new terms and conditions come into effect, something strongly opposed by the private hospitality sector through HAT, the Hotel Association of Tanzania and other tourism trade associations, that tariffs might have to be raised by the affected lodges and camps, leading to a further erosion of arrival numbers.

Tourism stakeholders in Uganda and Kenya have apparently been unaware of the move but, when alerted to it, were prompt to demand that KWS and UWA equally refrain from raising charges, calling the present business climate difficult and challenging.