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Villagers graduate as tour guides



Motsamai Mokotjo


THE Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) has accredited 16 residents from Thaba-Bosiu, Pulane, Malimong and Boroana as tour-guides following three weeks of training in Ha Kome.

The villagers are now qualified to give reliable background information on tourist-attractions in their respective areas to visitors, according to the training’s facilitator Tšeliso Ramakhula.

The course, which ended on Friday, was the second in LTDC’s Domestic Tourism push, with the first educating villagers about rural homestays—a unique initiative in which locals provide tourists with accommodation so they could enjoy true Basotho hospitality.

However in the latest training, tour-guides were equipped with the necessary skills needed to charm tourists and explain the history of tourism sites in their areas, and according to Mr Ramakhula, the graduates were now ready to be “tourism ambassadors”.

Mr Ramakhula told the newly-qualified guides on graduation day on Friday: “Today marks the end of your training. If you are still interested in furthering your studies, I urge the LTDC to offer you more extensive training but as of today, you are now in a position to be Lesotho’s tourism ambassadors.

“Make the tourists love the places they would have visited, and again use this opportunity you have been afforded, to better your lives as jobs are not that easy to find.”

In his keynote address, LTDC Chief Executive Officer Mpaiphele Maqutu informed the graduates of the need to work hard in making tourists enjoy their stay in their communities.

“As a tour guide, you will grow if you work hard and have patience for what you do…and also for the growth of tourism in your community and country at large.”

Mr Maqutu pleaded with the guides to tell “the correct story about the history of our tourism sites. We should pass a message based on research; we should tell the same story that truly reflects the history of those attractions.”

He further explained the importance of appealing to tourists’ taste and making sure they spend a long time in the country as this would make them spend more money and boost the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, one of the graduates, Tieho Moholobela (24), told the Sunday Express that he was delighted to have enrolled on the course and would use the skills he learnt to improve his life.

“I have learnt a lot about tourism and how it is going to help local communities and improve our lives,” Mr Moholobela said.

Mr Moholobela further said his village, Ha Matjotjo, had “a lot of horses” which he believes could earn the residents an income if hired out to tourists in an orderly manner.

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