Zimbabwe Revenues Dip After Cecil’s Killing

Zimbabwe Revenues Dip After Cecil’s KillingZimbabwe Revenues Dip After Cecil’s Killing

The global outcry over the killing of Cecil, the iconic lion, has already caused a drop in badly needed tourists to the country, government officials said on Thursday. “Our tourism sector, which was booming, has recorded a significant drop in arrivals in the Hwange National Park, where Cecil was being kept,” Zimbabwe Tourism Authority CEO Karikoga Kaseke said without giving exact figures, according to news website New Zimbabwe. “The culprits have painted Zimbabwe with a dirty brush. We are now seen as people who do not promote and protect animal rights.” Emmanuel Fundira, president of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe, said foreign tourists were forecast to spend about $5 million in the final quarter of 2015—crucial revenue for this country. “Many international tourists that were set to visit the country to see Cecil have cancelled their trips,” Fundira said. “This killing is a huge loss to our tourism sector that was contributing immensely to the national wealth.” Walter Palmer, 55, a Minnesota dentist, killed 13-year-old Cecil last month near the Hwange National Park after paying two guides at least $50,000 to track and kill the big cat, according to the Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce.