LTDC in­ten­si­fies tourism cam­paign

Sunday Express - - BUSINESS JOURNAL -

THE Le­sotho Tourism and De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion ( LTDC) is in­ten­si­fy­ing its ef­forts aimed at en­sur­ing sus­tain­able tourism in the coun­try with cam­paigns of clean­ing up tourist at­trac­tions.

Re­cently the LTDC held a clean-up ex­er­cise in the re­sort area of Se­monkonghome to the world-fa­mous Malet­sun­yane Wa­ter­falls- as prepa­ra­tions for the World Tourism Day com­mem­o­ra­tions con­tin­ued to gather mo­men­tum.

World Tourism Day is com­mem­o­rated an­nu­ally around the world on the 27 Septem­ber in an ef­fort to raise aware­ness on the role of tourism within the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and to demon­strate how it af­fects so­cial, cul­tural, po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic val­ues world­wide.

The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity des­ig­nated 2017 as the In­ter­na­tional year of Sus­tain­able Tourism for de­vel­op­ment.

This year’s World Tourism Day will be com­mem­o­rated un­der the theme, ‘ Sus­tain­able Tourism, a tool for de­vel­op­ment’.

The United Na­tions World Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion ( UNWTO) de­fines sus­tain­able tourism as “tourism that takes full ac­count of its cur­rent and fu­ture eco­nomic, so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts, ad­dress­ing the needs of vis­i­tors, the in­dus­try, the en­vi­ron­ment and host com­mu­ni­ties”.

Re­cently, the LTDC in­ten­si­fied its prepa­ra­tions for the World Tourism Day through a clean-up cam­paign of Se­monkong which was also aimed at rais­ing aware­ness of the ben­e­fits of main­tain­ing a clean en­vi­ron­ment in the quest to pro­mote sus­tain­able tourism.

Speak­ing on the side­lines of the cam­paign, LTDC Pub­lic Re­la­tions Man­ager, ‘Man­chafalo Mot­soe­neng told the Busi­ness Jour­nal that the ex­er­cise marked the first step to­wards sus­tain­able tourism in the coun­try.

Ms Mot­soe­neng said that LTDC had em­barked on a sen­si­tis­ing dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties about the im­por­tance of keep­ing Le­sotho clean.

“To­day we have set an ex­am­ple to the com­mu­nity about the im­por­tance of keep­ing the en­vi­ron­ment clean,” Ms Mot­soe­neng said.

“The only way to at­tain sus­tain­able tourism is through ed­u­cat­ing and hav­ing aware­ness cam­paigns for com­mu­ni­ties.”

The clean­ing was done in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Travel and Tourism stu­dents at Se­monkong and Amo­he­lang High School.

Malet­sun­yane Falls in Se­monkong is one of the high­est sin­gle drop­ping wa­ter­falls in Africa and it cre­ates a haze of smoke as the wa­ter plum­mets 186 me­tres into a spec­tac­u­lar gorge.

The lo­cal com­mu­nity re­cently com­plained to the LTDC that they were not re­al­is­ing tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits from the tourist at­trac­tion de­spite the fact that the falls were in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised and at- tracted many lo­cal and for­eign vis­i­tors.

Ms Mot­soe­neng said they were keen to equip small busi­nesses in the area with skills that would en­able them to pro­duce qual­ity prod­ucts to en­sure they ben­e­fit­ted from the tourist ar­rivals.

She added it was time the LTDC and the en­vi­ron­ment de­part­ment in the Min­istry of Tourism to en­sure com­mu­ni­ties are ed­u­cated on the im­por­tance of tourism.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, LTDC Head of Strate­gic Mar­ket­ing, Te­bello Thoola also told a com­mu­nity gath­er­ing at Se­monkong Sta­dium that they had a “di­a­mond” in their hands in the form of Malet­sun­yane Falls and it was time they started ben­e­fit­ing from it.

“As we will be cel­e­brat­ing the World Tourism Day un­der the theme, ‘Sus­tain­able Tourism, a tool for de­vel­op­ment’, we want to make sure that the com­mu­nity ben­e­fits from tourism,” Mr Thoola said.

He said as the theme sug­gested, the com­mu­nity should strive to come up with sus­tain­able busi­nesses to en­able them to ben­e­fit from tourist ar­rivals.

“The theme says we have to pro­tect our nat­u­ral re­sources such as the Malet­sun­yane Falls and rock paint­ings and keep them in good shape for tourists who wish to come and see them.

“Tourists bring a lot of money to Le­sotho and it is time Ba­sotho start ben­e­fit­ing. We would like lo­cals to start or­gan­i­sa­tions and come to­gether to fig­ure out dif­fer­ent ways in which they can ben­e­fit,” he said,

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