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Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

United Kingdom
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Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

I would like to hear from tour operators, tour agents and visitors who have booked/looking to book safaris in Tanzania what they think about the new concession fees imposed by the Tanzanian Government through TANAPA, with effect from 1st August 2011.

I personally feel the imposition of new fees, at such short notice, without proper discussions with tour organisations and operators,being imposed on visitors many of whom have booked their holidays well over a year, is totally unfair and unjust.

Besides, the TANAPA website www.tanzaniaparks.com does not outline what these new fees are (with the exception of children between 10-15 years who would have to pay US$10 per night to stay in a hotel/lodge/camp in the parks).

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

I don't have a problem with that. Longer notice would of course have been better P/R. I suspect it is being brought in so that TANAPA can better control receipts of the existing 'bed levy' that perhaps has been a little difficult to compute and collect from the concessions direct.

My take is that your Lodge will now deduct this fee from their tariff so you are no worse off and don't end up paying twice.

Midwest
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2. Re: Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

mfuwe,

Are you saying this is not an additional fee, just a new way to compute an already existing tax?

Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

Pure conjecture on my part but from reading between the lines I think this is the idea behind it.

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4. Re: Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

According to the TANAPA website, clients have to pay for this at the park gates which means they would have to budget for extra cash, then depend on tour operators getting this refunded from the hotels/lodges/camps.

My question is, why don't TANAPA charge hoteliers directly for this instead of involving clients, many of whom have already paid in full for their holiday?

Why pay at the park gates?

It is also not clear where the funds that are being collected in the name of "concession area fees" is actually going - is it going towards improving the lives of people already living in the area (such as the maasai, getting them fresh water supplies, sanitation and food) or is it going into another deep hole somewhere where accountability is not that important?

Saint Paul...
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for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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5. Re: Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

Nothing is clear at all about this Concession stuff. The way I heard it, the govt wanted to increase fees and hotels refused to pay extra. So they said they would ask tour operators to pay instead. Supposed to start Aug 1 and nobody has even been told what the fee will be??? And it sounds like an additional fee, not just a transfer from one place to the other. This would result in sudden, unexpected increase in costs. Still okay with that Mfuwe?

I remember in the past when they tried raising park fees suddenly, there was a large protest and so they agreed to pospone the fee increase and give plenty of notice. I think this kind of plan is probably in the works right now.

They once even tried to implement a fee after the fact. (Oh yeah, those people that came last week... the fees have gone up retroactively, so pay up now for those people who are already gone.) That didn't work too well for the Tz officials either, surprise surprise.

(And some people on here think they can predict when YF jab will be required? Pft!!! Anyone with enough experience in Tanzania knows that is pure fancy.)

Isle of Man, United...
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6. Re: Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

Well until it beds in (pardon the pun) we just don't know.

However I think the following offers guidance as to the intent.

<<iv) Tour Operators, Tourists and visitors will have their own arrangements for set offs with Hotels, Lodges and Tented Camps.

Tanzania National Parks expects positive cooperation from the general public on the implementation of this move for the betterment of conservation sector in the country.>>

So your guide, not you, will pay at the gate with his Smart Card already loaded with Fees by the Tour Operator. So the 'cost' to the tourist is nil. Then the Operator gets charged less by the Lodge.

Maybe an Operator can offer guidance on this. We are just speculating but as I said at first I don't have a problem with it..

nyc
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7. Re: Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

I would not make that assumption mfuwe, that the hotel/lodge/camp will deduct the fee from what has already been paid. If that were the case, this wouldn't be the issue it has become at this last minute.

TANAPA had been negotiating with the hotels/lodges/camps on this and then last minute pulled the tour operators/TATO into the scrap for them to pay or collect from their clients - as 1st August. And, with less than 1/weeks notice. No one knows who will be paying, what amounts, etc. not taking into account that visitor safaris have already been paid for in-full.

TANAPA feels that as tourism numbers are up, these fees are perfectly OK regardless who pays. Does anyone really believe the economy has so greatly improved. And, to hit the tourism sector and not others - mining (hey the Chinese have lots of money). Tourism is often the lifeblood of countries like Tanzania, and in my estimation no way to operate... ticking off everyone.

Many of the outfitters work on too small a margin to pay whatever the fee (per person, per nite?) themselves; budget travelers who count every penny, are unlikely to have extra cash to pay; and those visitors who do have the funds will not have kind words after "paying-up" about future travel to Tanzania.

Even if outfitters/operators, at this late date advise clients of expected increases, no one knows the amount/s!

I don't have sufficient details on this current situation*, and while increases in park fees, fuel surcharges have been assessed in earlier years, they were done with prior notice, giving in-country outfitters and tour operators worldwide, enough time to notify incoming visitors.

*interesting how they mention 10-16/yr old children @ $10/pp, as if this is the bulk of visitors, traveling on their own? give me a break!

When Kenya, next door, after during these past 2/yrs having reduced their Visa fee from USD$50/pp to $25 and children less than 16/yrs FOC, found need to revert back to UD$50 for all entering, as 1st July '11, some park fee increases and even flight fuel surcharges, notice was provided 3/months prior.

Not a pretty picture!

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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8. Re: Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

It's budget time in Tanzania right now, so all the Ministries are looking at how to raise money. And some governments have decreased or eliminated their providing funds for their treasury.

As to where will the money go; is there any question on this. Yeah Right, it will go to the indigent people living in the area of the parks. If you believe that then I have a piece of land in the Dodoma Region that I would like to talk to you about buying.

This is probably like most everything else there, the Ministry needs money (after all their Land Cruisers are two years old now) so they increase their fees. You should see what the new fees are for Residency Permits, you better hope that this new Concession Tax is not in line with that.

nyc
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9. Re: Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

There's a thread on Fodors www.fodors.com/forums (select Africa/Middle East), on this subject.

Someone indicated fees as:

Kirawira Camp - $100/pppn

Serena Serengeti Lodge - $50/pppn

Bilila Lodge - $100/pppn

Kusini Camp - $50/pppn

How true, whether these and others are set, who knows. But, those are scary numbers! Negotiations still going on!

Isle of Man, United...
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10. Re: Tanzania's introduction of Concession Area Fees

I had not seen brians post when I made my post #6.

Let us see what actually does take place and how much it is. Until then we can only speculate. Maybe it is to pay for the Serengeti Highway?