The single entry payment system into national parks requires a visitor to pay each time he or she re-enters the park or an equivalent tourist site even after straddling to nearby villages and communities.
Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Constantine Kanyasu made the directed on Thursday when opening the 8th Serengeti cultural and tourism exhibition held in Mara region.
Kanyasu added that Tanapa should consider single entry at some national parks but with the use of Biometric Identity to help control unscrupulous people. He said under the biometric system, visitors will have to sign in and out whenever they enter or leave the parks.
The Deputy Minister highlighted that since the introduction of single entry system, cultural tourism has remained dormant as visitors especially those from foreign countries do not visit nearby villages.
“This also affects the income of villagers in these communities because some were rely to sell their traditional products to visiting tourists”, he said mentioned some of the mostly affected areas as the Serengeti National Park’s western zone along the Ndabaka gate and some parts in Ruaha National Park.
He said the single entry system has mostly affected areas that are not connected with tarmac roads and air strips. He noted that to avoid paying for each entry, tourists opt to stay within the parks for 24 hours.
Serengeti Regional Commissioner, Nurdin Babu told the deputy minister that 80 per cent of his administrative area is covered by the Serengeti National Park.
Babu admitted the effects of single entry payment system to the villagers insisting most of them depend on the visitors to sell their traditionally made handcrafted goods.
“We need an intervention to this matter because our people have been economically affected. We are killing cultural tourism”, said the Regional Commissioner as he insists on removal of single entry payment system.
The multiple entry payment system into the parks has been among the top desires of the local tour operators for years.
According to them, the system does not encourage the tourists to visit the surrounding villages or communities and back to the parks for accommodation as they are charged for each re-entry.
Multiple entries into the parks without additional charges would enable the visitors to access the tourist sites more than once and hence spend more days in the country, having settled the required payment in the first instance.