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Lesotho to launch unique tourism brand

by Sunday Express
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TOURISM Minister Likeleli Tampane (left) hands over an award to one of the winners

TOURISM Minister Likeleli Tampane (left) hands over an award to one of the winners

Rethabile Pitso

LESOTHO Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) will next month launch a tourism destination brand for Lesotho to showcase the country as a unique attraction.

This was said by the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Mpaiphele Maqutu, on Friday during the annual Lesotho Tourism Awards ceremony at Avani Lesotho Hotel. The awards ceremony was meant reward outstanding players in the tourism sector and foster the entry of more players in the industry.

The event also coincided with World Tourism Day commemorations, which are held annually on 27 September to highlight tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value.

Mr Maqutu said the LTDC was in the process of completing a new Lesotho tourism destination brand which would be launched at the end of October 2015.

“For the first time, Lesotho tourism will have an identity and a new image that will distinguish it from the rest of the world while showcasing the unique tourism propositions that this amazing country has to offer,” he said.

In another interview, Mr Maqutu said: “One of the major projects on our desk as the LTDC is the issue of Lesotho’s brand positioning. We want to come up with a new brand positioning that differentiates us very clearly from the rest of the other destinations in Africa including our neighbour.

“If you think about it, some of the topography one finds in Clarens in the Free State province of South Africa, can also be found in Lesotho. Some of the cultural artefacts found in Free State and Qwaqwa can also be found in Lesotho. However, what clearly differentiates us from these other places which cannot be replicated is our altitude which has earned Lesotho the title of “Roof of Africa”.

He said Lesotho’s niche lay in the fact that its lowest point is 1 400 metres above sea level and its highest in excess of 3 400 metres “which no country can take away from us”.

“Even our mountain ranges, such as Thabana Ntlenyana, are the highest plateaus in the southern hemisphere. The highest point in Africa, of course, is Mt Kilimanjaro but we are the highest plateau,” Mr Maqutu said.

“Our country is the highest country in the whole of Africa. So, based on those facts, the LTDC is coming up with a new brand position as well as the logo identity that speaks to the brand.

“It’s a very exciting project for us and I cannot reveal much about it at the moment. The only snippet I can reveal is that even the private tourism sector would be using the destination brand to promote their own businesses. It is important that we all use one message to identify ourselves as one.

In her remarks, Tourism Environment and Culture Minister Likeleli Tampane lauded private businesses for their input in promoting Lesotho as a tourist destination.

“We are here today to recognise those companies and individuals in the private sector who have taken an initiative to promote the country’s tourism. I feel honoured and overwhelmed by their input which has resulted in the noticeable growth of Lesotho’s tourism,” said Ms Tampane.

“I am also pleased to note that many people came dressed in their cultural apparel; a sign which shows an appreciation for our Basotho culture which my ministry and the LTDC have been promoting ahead of the Arts, Innovation and Culture Week.

Below are the winners of the Tourism Awards:

 

 

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