Kenya’s tourism industry buoyed by TANAPA decision to raise concession fees overnight


(Posted 01st of July 2017)

Tanzania’s lodge and tented camp operators inside the TANAPA administered national parks yesterday received the shock of their lives when the organization slapped them with a new set of unilaterally set concession fees and royalties after only days earlier still discussing with the Tourism Confederation of Tanzania a grace period to allow operators overseas observe their legally binding minimum price guarantee obligations before incorporating the new cost elements.

It is now patently obvious that they have no regard for those who actually bring the tourists, sell the product and their respective national legal obligations in regard of price increases.
Said one livid caller: ‘We for one will now stop selling Tanzania and begin to decampaign TANAPA as far as donations are concerned and as far as our influence on key donor NGO’s is concerned. In a civilised world notice periods are respected and observed and if TANAPA cannot or will not do that, they are the culprits in our books, they are the perpetrators of this idiocy‘.
Comments seen from a travel agent in the United States, moving considerably numbers so far to Tanzania, expresses similar sentiments:

Start quote:

Thank you for calling about the Tanzanian concession fees. I think Tanzania owes the world an explanation as to how this fee works. How much is the actual fee? In the US$ 59 per person per day figure a total figure and do we deduct what we are currently paying to figure out the difference? Who collects this amount and where? Will the passengers be harassed by TANAPA employees when they arrive/enter the park or the lodge/camp? This whole thing is beginning to sound like Gestapo Germany in the 1940’s.
I can’t believe in this day and age of instant communication with Twitter and Shitter, etc. that the Tanzania government still doesn’t know how to implement this change. They cocked up the VAT last year and this too is going to be fiasco.

End Quote

Notably will foreign tour agencies be ambushed for the second time, the previous time being the decision of the Tanzanian government to impose VAT without any due notice observed either.
Tourism sources contacted in Kenya, Uganda and further down South in contrast expressed their delight over the decision which one regular commentator from Nairobi called ‘They did not just shoot themselves in the foot, they actually now shot their entire feet off‘ before adding, as many others did too, that they were already seeing an immediate rise in requests for quotations for safaris in Kenya and Uganda as overseas agents appear to react swiftly and sharply this time, intent to moving their business to other East African countries with a better sense of business and how to treat their customers.
The same messages came from Zambia and Zimbabwe, both of which also expect to benefit as a result of their safari packages now being more competitive by far.
Also see below the link to a recent article written about the same topic for added information.

Said a tour operator from Uganda, when discussing the inaugural flight of Precision Air to Entebbe yesterday evening: ‘I will use the new flight to take people to Zanzibar but Serengeti is now out of question. I am not going to have my clients harassed by park staff like they did some years ago when they detained tourists for a day and more over similar demands at the park gates. When I see this craziness I am only happy that we in Uganda and our brothers in Kenya know better and not pull such stunts and think we could get away with it. I think we owe TANAPA a big thank you for diverting traffic our way and becoming one of our main marketing agents though I doubt that is what they intended‘.