LTDC in eco-tourism drive
LESOTHO Tourism and Development Corporation (LTDC) on Friday partnered with IBC College and Winston College to clean up the Moshoeshoe2 International Airport road as part of a campaign to promote eco-tourism in the country.
The www.ecotourism.org website defines eco-tourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.”
“Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities and sustainable travel,” the website further states.
LTDC Chief Executive Officer, Mpaiphele Maqutu, said it was important to keep Lesotho clean, particularly the airport as it was one of the first places visitors saw on arrival.
“It is important to keep Lesotho clean, especially the airport because it is the first place where tourists are received,” Mr Maqutu said.
He said that it was impossible to market a polluted place.
“One of the products we offer is Eco-tourism and we can’t market it if we have a polluted environment with plastics all over,” he added.
He said that they invited tourism students from the two colleges to ensure they appreciated the importance of cleanliness.
He said they expected the participants to be ambassadors who encouraged people to stop littering.
“We invited tourism students to this campaign so that they will spread the word to their friends and family.
“We also believe that this is a seed that we planted in their heads and it will bear sweet fruits.”
He said the initiative was part of their contribution to the Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDG’s) to promote a clean environment and sustainability.
“We are contributing to SDG’s by cleaning the streets,” he said, adding they looked forward to a time when Basotho would be responsible citizens who did need punitive laws to stop them polluting the country.
“Most Basotho have a culture of urinating at every corner and this shows how irresponsible they can be,” he said.
He said that they had opted to introduce paper bags instead of plastic bags due to the effect that plastic bags had on the environment.
Unlike paper bags, plastics are not biodegradable, resulting in a polluted environment.
He said that they were already working closely with Maseru City Council (MCC) to ensure a clean environment.
In addition, they had also conducted workshops to sensitise the police and other law enforcement officers on their role in tourism.
For his part, Winston College lecturer, Leabua Rampesa said they were very grateful to be part of such an initiative.
“I hope that the next session will involve more people and cover a bigger area,” Mr Rampesa said.