By T’soloane Mohlomi

The Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) has signed a collaboration deal with Scenery Guest House and the Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL).

The collaboration deal between the three entities was announced during a recent media briefing held by LTDC in Maseru, with Scenery Guest house tipped to sign this very week.

In what the LTDC says is a bid to boost tourism activities in the country and further market the kingdom of Lesotho as a favourable tourist destination, the tourism body said they decided to extend a helping hand in a collaborative effort with the two organisations residing both in the private sector, in Scenery guest House, and in the sports sector, in the Federation of Athletics Lesotho.

The LTDC explained that in the background of the 2014 domestic tourism survey which aimed to grow domestic tourism, and with their mandate of promoting tourism in the country, and further attracting foreign investment and tourists in Lesotho, they had been looking at extensive and alternative means of engaging various stakeholders in the industry to further aid and work for an inclusive future.

With regards to Scenery guest house, the LTDC said it was through the establishment’s efforts of not only aiming to provide exemplary hospitality accommodation to tourists through their immaculate facilities, which had sparked their interest to work with them, but their willingness to go the extra mile in conducting tours around the country for tourists to see and experience the splendour of Lesotho mainly through their Scenery Travel & Tours wing.  

The Federation of Athletics Lesotho was roped in mainly due to the federation’s attractive High altitude Marathon which was halted by the break of covid 19 pandemic. The marathon had been growing tremendously before them and had started to attract international tourism to the country.

Speaking at the ceremony, LTDC’s Acting Strategic Manager Mr Nkoebe Lerotholi, said it wasn’t their first time working with Scenery Guest house but said this time around they intended to amplify and further strengthen their relationship as they intended to tour the lengths and breaths of the country together.

“Given our previous good working relationship with Scenery guest house, this time around we decided to strengthen ties and what we particularly liked through their Scenery Travel & tours programme was that they were in line with our slogan which encourages locals to know and visit their country first.

“We are going to travel all over the country with them exploring this beautiful Kingdom,and we do so because it is our job to ensure tourism is uplifted and tourist activities happen and in this country. A value chain exists in tourism and we want all stakeholders in the different regions to benefit, from site guides to entertainers.

“Property owners especially owners traditional home steads will benefit,” he said.

Mr Lerotholi further added that the first instalment of these trips would commence this week.

Scenery Guest House Manager, ‘Marethabile Sekhiba said they incepted Scenery Travel & tours to better give visitors an opportunity to know more about Lesotho and they wanted travellers to engage in cultural recreational activities including art and other traditional games.

“We will travel to different places in Lesotho drink traditional beverages and eat some of our foods. Lesotho has a lot to offer and we will even go to places like Katse for a boat cruise and fishing expeditions, before we can think of travelling outside the country.

Ms Sekhiba said Scenery travel & tours is mandated to travel to all districts of Lesotho, and their first trip will be from the 29th to 30 April, during this trip she said for entertainment they will host  the “Art meets comedy in the mountains” festival where they will also be engaged in hiking activities. The trip price including transportation starts from M1300,” she said.

Federation of Athletics Lesotho President, Mr T’seliso Pheta announced that they aimed to commence with the High altitude Marathon in December this year. SAs in the last race they had a total of 832 runners he said this year they were aiming to increase the number to over a 1000 runners.

“This race since its inception in 2003 has been very good at attracting tourism in Lesotho, and from the onset we already attacted foreign participation and fans, besides that we under appreciate how people love our country and appreciate it. Guest house’s we built because of the demand for accommodation due to this race,” he said.