Safari operators in Zimbabwe are expecting revenue from the animal trophy hunting season this year to rise from $65 million last year to $75 million spurred by a decline in regional competition.
The hunting season is due to start next month.
Safari Operators Association president Mr Emmanuel Fundira told New Ziana that the resumption of normal activities in the Save Valley Conservancy could also help increase revenue.
There has been an impasse in the conservancy after licenses of some concessions were withdrawn.
"We are forecasting a growth of 10 percent mainly premised on the resumption of activities in the Save Conservancy where there has been an impasse for the last two years," he said.
"So assuming that does not happen, we would expect to end up with slight growth from our numbers last year where we achieved revenues of up to $65 million. But if that happens we would expect an extra US$8-10 million coming our way," he added.
Mr Fundira said Zimbabwe was expecting hunters from Russia, the United States, Hungary, Spain and Germany. He said more hunters were expected in Zimbabwe as neighbouring countries Zambia and Botswana were facing challenges in their safari operations. Botswana banned hunting starting January this year citing dwindling wildlife resources.
"The other aspect which is helping us quite considerably in achieving our numbers is that the position regards to Botswana has not changed.
"Botswana has decided to opt outside consumptive tourism to non-consumptive tourism so it would mean then that the African bound safari clients will find favour in continuing to support Zimbabwe because of that.
"The third one is also to do with neighbouring Zambia where they have hit a pothole in terms of the managing of safari areas. Up to 18 concessions were suspended from operating, which constitutes about 60 percent of the hunting revenue of Zambia and all those enquiries at the moment have been secured into Zimbabwe throughout the various hunting shows that have taken place both in the US and in Europe.
"So those are the favourable conditions which are coming our way, which makes us to believe the number we achieved of $65 million will be not only achieved, but exceeded if the impasse on Save conservancy is resolved," he said.
Mr Fundira, however, warned that the introduction of 15 percent Value Added Tax on all foreign receipts could hamper growth. The Government through the 2014 National Budget introduced the levy on accommodation and tourism service payments by foreign tourists.
Mr Fundira said his association had since engaged the Government to review downwards or defer levying the new tax.
Hunters from Europe pay to shoot animals such as lions, elephants and leopards, earning the country millions in revenue.