Tourism drive focuses on locals
OVER the course of September, the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) commemorated the tourism month with initiatives to foster sustainable tourism such as cleaning campaigns for tourist attractions.
The tourism agency’s initiatives culminated in World Tourism Day commemorations in Semonkong and Butha-Buthe on Wednesday and Friday respectively.
Held under the theme “Sustainable Tourism: A Tool for Development”, the commemorations were held in conjunction with Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture.
Since 1980, World Tourism day is celebrated every year under different themes selected by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation in an effort to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism including social, cultural and economic values.
The mandate of World Tourism Day is to great consciousness among the stakeholders and the community about the available tourism business opportunities as well as to encourage them to participate in domestic tourism and be informed about the Lesotho tourism ambassadors.
Addressing the gathering in Semonkong, LTDC Chief Executive Officer Mpaiphele Maqutu said the theme related to the visiting of tourism attractions as a way of making a positive impact on the environment, society and the economy.
He said the LTDC undertook a number of activities in the month of September such as cleaning campaigns to raise awareness about the benefits of maintaining a clean environment in the quest to promote sustainable tourism.
Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso participated in one such campaign in Ha- Tikoe in Maseru.
Mr Maqutu also indicated that the LTDC awarded trophies and medals to high school students studying travel and tourism as a way of encouraging them to know more about Lesotho’s tourism attractions.
“During this tourism month, we focused on domestic tourism to encourage all Basotho to travel and explore their country first before foreigner,” he said.
“It is therefore important to know about our country and find appreciation for its remarkable offerings while making an economic output that improves the livelihoods of the Basotho community.”
For her part, Tourism, Environment and Culture Minister ‘Mamotsie Motsie said Lesotho was endowed with various tourism attractions that can be economically beneficial to the populace if well preserved.
She said tourists would bring money that can develop communities, hence the need to ensure they are well taken care of.
“It is our duty to protect tourists when they visit our country, for they are the people who contribute more to the development of our country,” she said.