Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (Tawa) has allowed hunting companies to carry out their activities for six more months to serve tourist who have started tricling in slowly as countries around the world begin easing their Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the hunting companies were given only six months to do their work but this year the firms will enjoy twelve months of operations.
Tawa said yesterday that wildlife hunting business opened this month and would run for one year to allow traders to tap into the slowly recovering tourism business that has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The international travel bans aiming to contain the spread of the coronavirus have had a negative impacts on tourism business in Tanzania and the world in general where hunting and photo-tourism industries provide a chief motivation for wildlife conservation and much of the funding that sustains it.
Speaking yesterday during the ongoing 44th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF), the deputy commissioner for tourism and business services Mr Imani Nkuwi said: “We have decided to extend the permit for six months to allow them cope with the slowly recovering tourism business. A country like the United States where most of the hunters comes from is still under a lockdown.”
He explained that even as airlines have started to land in Tanzania, there is still a need to allow more time for hunting business as the number of hunters is expected to increase.
As of March 20, there was limited movement of tourists, including those entering Tanzania from regions with known Covid-19 cases, including the United States. When the number of Covid-19 cases rose, the restrictions became tougher, thus affecting Tanzania’s tourism market, popular with photo-tourists and hunters alike.
Yesterday, players in the hunting business were upbeat about the business in the coming days with the Tawa Mr Nkuwi calling for traders interested in opening up game meat butcheries to visit their offices and obtain permits.
“We allowed the sale of game meat following instructions from President John Magufuli. We have already formulated regulations, prepared licenses and set procedures to be followed by interested people,” he said.