THE government on Monday said the fees charged in the National Parks is standard and fair and takes into account ecological and ecosystem safeguarding and preservation costs.
Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Damas Ndumbaro said the fees are standard in comparison to what the tourists get in return.
However, he said the fees differ during the high seasons when the sector experiences a lot of activities in comparison to the low period, when demand decreases.
“Serengeti National Park is unique and beautiful, the fees is 60 US dollars during the high season but remains the same in low seasons, however, they still experience a number of tourists visiting,” he pointed out.
Dr Ndubaro made the clarification here in Dodoma, yesterday while responding to Mrisho Gambo (Arusha-CCM) query, during the supplementary question when he asked why the government should not reduce the fees (tourists and operators are charged) because they are expensive and make them (operators) become less competitive in comparison to what is charged in neighbouring countries.
He said during the high season a number of tourists’ vehicles increases to 400 per day and in low season; they reduce to around 70 on daily basis.
In his primary question, Mr Gambo proposed for the suspension of all fees (they fall under the Tanzania National Parks Authority-TANAPA) as from July, this year.
TANAPA is body responsible for the management of Tanzania’s national parks.
Responding to the matter, the Deputy Minister, Ms Mary Masanja said the government increased the fees during high season to correspond to costs incurred during the high demand.
She said the increase of entry, seasonal and special camping fees as well as concession are only for four national parks of Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Tarangire and Arusha.
For Serengeti, she said the new fees will be 60 US dollar and 45US dollar for other three national parks, adding: “Covid-19 should not be used as a scapegoat to deny the government its revenue for economic development… .the private sector has not tabled any statistics on how they have been affected and hence, require fees review.”