LTDC en­gages po­lice on tourism

Lesotho Times - - Busi­ness - Mo­halenyane Phakela

THE Le­sotho Tourism De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (LTDC) says the coun­try is al­ready reap­ing the re­wards of a four-month pro­gramme it launched last year with the aim of sen­si­tis­ing po­lice on deal­ing with tourists who visit the coun­try.

LTDC launched the pro­gramme in Septem­ber 2016 to sen­si­tise the po­lice force on the proper ap­proach, han­dling and ren­der­ing as­sis­tance to tourists which is vi­tal to en­sur­ing the coun­try re­tains its share of the glob­ally lu­cra­tive sec­tor.

Last week’s sem­i­nar in Thaba Tseka district was the last of sev­eral sem­i­nars which kicked off last year in the Leribe district, fol­lowed by Mafeteng and Qacha’s Nek.

LTDC’S Pub­lic Re­la­tions Man­ager Man­chafalo Motšoe­neng this week told the Week­ender that they were al­ready reap­ing the re­wards of the ini­tia­tive.

“The re­sponses of the po­lice heads in the dif­fer­ent re­gions were very pos­i­tive and they are show­ing that they were re­freshed by the in­for­ma­tion we shared with them,” Motšoe­neng said.

“Our main ob­jec­tive was to elim­i­nate the ha­rass­ment of tourists, es­pe­cially be­ing asked for bribes dur­ing some of the po­lice op­er­a­tions and since we started with the work­shops we had less cases of that na­ture and dis­ci­plinary ac­tions were taken against po­lice of­fi­cers who were caught do­ing so.

“Another chal­lenge we faced was of the sig­nage which were of­ten re­moved from the road side for per­sonal use by ru­ral com­mu­nity mem­bers such as build­ing shacks but the po­lice have helped stop the prac­tice by tak­ing ac­tion against per­pe­tra­tors.”

Ms Motšoe­neng said the po­lice also opened up on some of the chal­lenges they en­coun­tered in­clud­ing in­suf­fi­cient knowl­edge about tourism and de­lays in in­ves­ti­gat­ing cases of al­leged ha­rass­ment of tourists.

“The po­lice in­di­cated that some cases take time to in­ves­ti­gate and by the time they went to court the af­fected tourist would have left the coun­try re­sult­ing in the dis­missal of the case.

“Nonethe­less, we tried to find ways to make our work eas­ier and we agreed that it would be nec­es­sary for the po­lice to have kiosks at dif­fer­ent tourist at­trac­tions to en­sure prompt re­sponse to any prob­lems that arise.

“We be­lieve that will be ef­fected in the next fi­nan­cial year but at the mo­ment we have estab­lished a mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion called Best Of which pro­vides all the in­for­ma­tion that may be needed by a tourist as it also uses the Google Maps,” she said.

Ms Motšoe­neng also said that they would con­duct reg­u­lar li­aisons with the po­lice to strengthen their work­ing re­la­tions.

SOME of the po­lice of­fi­cers who took part in the work­shop.

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