LTDC marks  Tourism Day

LTDC marks Tourism Day

MASERU – THE Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) celebrated World Tourism Day in Semonkong last Wednesday.
The LTDC then moved to Butha-Buthe two days later. World Tourism Day has been celebrated since 1980 every year on September 27th. The intention is to promote awareness of the importance of tourism.

Speaking at the celebration in Semonkong, the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) CEO Mpaiphele Maqutu said the day brings Basotho together to celebrate and rejoice. Maqutu said people dedicated their time to attend the occasion in Semonkong which is renowned for its majestic waterfall, ’Maletsunyane, and the world’s longest abseiling.

“In furtherance of this initiative, the LTDC embarked on a few major activities,” he said. These included cleaning campaigns in Ha-Tikoe, Maputsoe, Semonkong and Queen ’Masenate Mohato Seeiso participated in the cleaning campaigns. In Butha-Buthe, the community of Ha-Belo was involved in a clean-up campaign and also made aware of some important aspects of cultural tourism.

The LTDC team, students from Ha-Belo Primary School, the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA), the Department of Immigration, and the Ministry of Tourism were all involved in the cleaning campaign of the route to Caledonspoort Border in the town.

This came after food and catering businesses in Butha-Buthe as well as the accommodation service providers came up with an idea to celebrate Tourism Day in the district on September 29. The event was celebrated with an array of festivities including traditional performances and tourism testimonial speeches by the tourism related businesses. The invitees were captivated by traditional performances by the people and children of Ha-Belo primary school and were pampered with a traditional cuisine.

Tourism Minister ’Mamotsie Motsie said tourism is a tool that can be used to create employment and alleviate poverty.
The minister said tourists need to be nurtured and welcomed in a hospitable environment because they will leave behind a financial footprint that improves the livelihood of the community.

She encouraged regular cleaning, not only of the tourism establishments, but towns and villages saying this will foster a disease-free environment that is attractive for tourists. She said she is disturbed by the disposable nappies and plastics that are “littered all over our beautiful land”.
The Butha-Buthe District Administrator, Matlotlo Ramaboli, said he was mesmerized by the performances of the traditional performances of Ha-Belo.
The traditional performances depict our culture and traditions as Basotho.

Ramaboli advised Basotho to preserve their unique culture as it can be used as a selling point to attract tourists.
A representative from the accommodation facilities, Bolae Ramonotši, said the practices of sustainable tourism through pony trekking, craft making and traditional performance has benefited his business and the community alike.

There is a synergy and understanding among the accommodation establishments on which they regularly refer clients to other facilities when their accommodation is fully booked, he added. Ramonotši pointed out that there are hurdles that need to be overcome like access roads to different destinations and appropriate sewer systems to promote cleanliness.

’Makhotso Rakotsoane

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