LTDC in Ha-Sempe — Setibing sensitisation campaign
AS part of strategies to enhance Lesotho’s image as a preferred tourist destination, the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) constantly holds sensitisation campaigns for the communities living near tourist attractions.
To that end, the corporation recently held a public gathering at Ha-Sempe — Setibing near the renowned Molimo Nthuse Lodge and Qiloane falls.
Addressing the Ha-Sempe community, LTDC’s public relations officer Molapo Matela said tourism has been identified as a priority sector by the government to alleviate poverty and create employment. He said Lesotho has ecological endowments, cultural activities and events, which differentiate Basotho from other nations.
“These elements of culture can be improved by the youth to generate revenue, we need more youth participation to actualise this,” Matela said.
“The tourism industry is still very fertile and longing to be exploited. There are many job opportunities in the tourism industry; one can operate as a tour operator, tour guide, rural home stay owner, creative artifacts, and pony trekking stated Matela. Tourism activities, using natural attractions, can also be a significant source of economic diversification and livelihood opportunity for the host community such as taking visitors for a sightseeing to the magnificent Qiloane falls.”
In addition, Matela advised the community to form tourism interest groups because the collaboration with like-minded groups would complement each other in dealing with challenges and also aid in securing funds. He also urged the villagers to teach their children to be hospitable towards tourists and abstain from harassing visitors by pelting them with stones. He also said the villagers must desist from begging for goodies from tourists as that would impact negatively on the country’s tourism.
Speaking on behalf of the villagers, ‘Manapo Mofosi explained that the visits by the LTDC staff had equipped them as they are now aware how tourism can improve their lives through income generating projects.
She encouraged her fellow villagers to persevere and remain committed to the cause.
Area chief — ‘Malesa Theko appealed to the community to collaborate and improve their lives as advocated for by the Sesotho phrase “Letšoele le beta poho’’ (if were work together as a team we can overcome any challenge). Ms Theko said tourists were attracted to Lesotho by the country’s majestic beauty hence was imperative to welcome tourists as that would encourage repeated visits.
“As a nation, if we embrace a clean environment both internationally and domestically, tourists will want to unwind and explore the Kingdom in the Sky” Ms Theko said.
Molimo Nthuse Lodge- Mamojalefa Lebelo said the lodge was harmoniously working with the community. During the Christmas holidays, the community’s horses were used by tourists to tour Qiloane Falls and other attractions.
The community was given an opportunity to manage the previously unutilised Pony Trekking Centre to ensure they rake in some income through horse riding fees. — LTDC