- Published on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 02:05
- Written by FINNIGAN WA SIMBEYE
- Hits: 472
LOCAL professional hunters should stop complaining against foreigners and instead strive to compete by learning leading foreign languages and luring hunting tourists to the country.
Secretary General of Tanzania Hunting Operators Association (TAHOA), Abdukadir Luta Muhamed said instead of complaining, local professional hunters should learn from their foreign partners by acquiring skills, hunting equipment and approach potential hunting tourists to be competitive.
"Most local professional hunters cannot communicate effectively with foreign tourists because of language barriers. They also do not possess necessary equipment such as rifles for hunting expeditions," Mr Mohamed noted, saying the hunting tourism sub sector is very competitive.
Mohamed dismissed claims that local hunters are marginalized by foreign hunting firms which currently dominate the local market, hinting that there are a good number of highly competitive local professional hunters.He argued that any successful professional hunter would go out in the world to market himself and convince clients to book safaris with them and pointed out that those who remain at home and wait for jobs to be handed to them shouldn't expect much.
"There are Tanzanian professional hunters like Paulo Shanalingigwa, Michel Manthiakis, Danny Mc Cullum and Eliab Urioir just to mention a few who have excelled in the profession and are in high demand," he said.Mohamed also refuted claims that some foreign hunters earn up to 2,000 US dollars per day while locals earn a maximum of 200 US dollars.
"First there isn't a professional hunter who earns 2,000 US dollars per day, 200 to 300 US dollars is the normal industry average. It is even rare in these hard economic times in the world to sell a total package of a Safari for 1,500 US dollars per day leave alone 2,000 US dollars per day," he argued.
Simba Professional Hunters Association (SPHA) which largely comprises of local professional hunters as its members had decried dominance of foreign professional hunters in the business. Chairman of SPHA, Hilary Daffi said although it is good for foreign professional hunters to be welcome to the country there is need for the government to put in place regulations that protect local jobs.
"We need the foreign hunters but surely access to jobs should be a win-win situation," Mr Daffi, who is also a director with Hilary Daffi Safaris, a tourism hunting firm, noted. The country is estimated to have about 100 professional hunters most of who joined the trade in the 1980s when Tanzania Wildlife Corporation (TAWICO) was in existence.
Daffi said liberalisation of the economy killed the struggling TAWICO which was an important source of employment and training for professional hunters in the country.