Lesotho tourism marketing drive earns dividends

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Maseru – An aggressive marketing strategy employed by the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) helped country to overcome a possible decline of foreign tourists visiting Lesotho during the Roof of Africa Rally 2014.

During today’s press briefing, the LTDC Chief Executive Mpai Maqutu said the political instability that cloaked Lesotho in the last part of the year threatened tourism.

“Political instability causes reduction in number of tourists visiting the country. Almost all our hotels were empty because there were no quests at one stage. But we tried to calm down the tourists by sending aggressive messages that it was business as usual as restoration of tourists confidence,” said Maqutu when asked by newsline365.wordpress.com about the impact of the political instability on the industry.

Maqutu said the country’s two major activities the Roof of Africa Rally and the Lesotho Sky Race of bikes and bicycles respectively went on smoothly due to an aggressive marketing strategy implementation.

As a result, he explained, all the accommodation facilities were fully booked during the race of Roof of Africa Rally, adding the educational campaigns also involved herd boys “to become tourism ambassadors.”

According to Maqutu the Lesotho government considers tourism as one of the three major areas for creation of 10,000 jobs annually.

There is an intention to trim down the public sector and increase private sector space for participation job creation, observed Maqutu.

The corporation is focusing on three areas of domestic tourism, ensuring and maintaining an increased number of tourists from South Africa and breaking into the international tourism market.

A brief stop at the bushmen paintings' rock
A tourist with a tour guide at bushmen paintings on a rock at Ha Teko, Qeme, Maseru. For information contact likatolahorseriding@yahoo.com

“We want to ensure that Basotho visit and know their own country with the design of a logo Lesotho Haeso. We’ll carry on activities that promote domestic tourism in the year 2015,” revealed Maqutu.

Lesotho’s two tourism attractions the ’Maletsunyane Falls, situated in the Semonkong area, south east of Maseru, is famous for being longest abseil and has been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records. The Sehlabathebe Park in the Qacha’s Nek district, south of Maseru in the rural mountains, has been declared a heritage site by the UNESCO.

At the media conference, the corporation also launched its song video depicting Lesotho as a tourism destination in international market.

The musical video “Do You Know Know Lesotho” is intended to market Lesotho by encouraging both local and international tourists to visit Lesotho. It shows the Basotho culture, talent and art and will be aired on the local television and possibly on the famous Channel O.

The production was commissioned by the corporation to Carl MacMillan in collaboration with Lesotho-based production company Sky Events.

The not-for-sale video will be shown in public places and other areas of international attractions and destinations.

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