Tanzania: Government Overturns Souvenirs Fee

The Tanzanian government withdrew its decision of charging fees for holiday souvenirs.

In February this year Tanzania Forestry Services (TFS) announced that it intended to collect fees from all tourists who visit and purchase souvenirs.

The document indicated that the fees would have been collected from all tourists at all airports on their departure from the country.

However, recently, Natural Resources and Tourism announced to revoke such a decision for the best interests of tourism industry.

"I'm going to direct Tanzania forestry services to retract its decision immediately to relieve our dear tourists," says Mr Nyalandu when he met sculptors at Mount Meru curios and crafts market in Arusha.

Chairman for sculptors and traders at Mount Meru curios and crafts market in Arusha with over 500 members, Ally Mgaya said that the fees had adverse impact on their business, as majority tourists.

Some tour and safari operators also started to include the "do not buy any wood carvings" warnings in their briefing documents, so that their clients are not harassed or inconvenienced when exiting the country.

Commenting, the chairman for Tanzania Association of tour Operators (TATO), Willy Chambulo commended the minister Nyalandu for the prompt decision.

"This is an encouraging decision by our minister. We are proud of him (Nyalandu) for keeping an eye to this fragile industry" Mr Chambulo notes, adding that his association is looking forward to get a government notice over the decision.