Economic Benefit of Hunting Tourism R811 MILLION TO ECONOMY Department of Environmental Affairs shared that hunting tourists contributed R811 million (2011: R901 million) to South Africa's economy in 2012. A 10% decrease year over year. Department of Environmental Affairs deputy director policy development Magdel Boshoff, speaking at the Professional Hunters' Association of South Africa's (PHASA) 36th AGM and Convention in Vanderbijlpark, said the results were still subject to an audit and verification. The statistics were based only on species fees, meaning that the total economic contribution of overseas hunters is vastly understated. The statistics also exclude the impact of 320,000 local hunters. Topping the international hunter list: USA, Denmark and Spain. Last year, 40 866 head of game were hunted compared to 48 605 the year before. A nearly 16% decrease. Rhino hunts showed the biggest decrease with only 52 harvests taking place in 2012 (2011: 137) and contributing R36 million (2011: R84 million) due to stricter criteria used in issuing rhino hunting permits. A 62% decrease. Lion hunts showed the largest increase with 596 lions harvested in 2012 (2011: 445) and contributing R122 million (2011: R77 million) at an average species fee of R203 000. A 34% increase. Interesting trends.