Tanzania’s tourism sector plays a significant role in the country’s economy – responsible for 17.5% of Tanzania’s GDP (TanzaniaInvest, 26.05.2017) – and has become Tanzania's largest foreign exchange earner, contributing an average of US $2 billion annually (Xinhua, 09.07.2018).

Wildlife tourism in particular is one of Tanzania’s most important economic sectors, controlled by the Ministry for Tourism and Natural Resources through its Wildlife Division (ISS, 21.08.2013). Unfortunately, government control over Tanzania’s valuable wildlife resources is alleged to have fed the proliferation of rent-seeking behaviour, and it has provided opportunities for tourism revenues to be captured by local, regional and state elites.

Sport hunting – or trophy hunting – in particular has become a billion-dollar, profit-driven industry; and as one of Tanzania’s most lucrative, sport hunting has long offered extensive opportunities for rent-seeking among the country’s political elite. According to some analysts, this is to the extent that at least at one point, corruption became ingrained as the primary means of controlling access to the sector (Baldus and Cauldwell, 07.2004).