Kome Rural Home-stays Project
LTDC develops and promotes quality tourism products and services through Kome Rural Home-stays Project
In its endeavour to enhance the quality of service in the tourism industry, thereby promote tourism in Lesotho, LTDC in collaboration with UNWTO through the ST-EP Foundation Project is on the drive to develop and promote rural tourism businesses. The project covers the areas; Ha Baroana, Malimong, Kome and Thaba-Bosiu on the east of Maseru. The project is co-funded by both LTDC and UNWTO STEP Foundation.
Among other plans for the project, is the training of excursion providers, rural home-stays operators, tour guides and crafts. 11 excursion providers were trained to capacitate them on development of excursions and marketing of their enterprises. Detailed guidance on the use of their cultural heritage to promote their businesses was also given during the training, including how to establish business linkages with foreign tour operators.
Training of rural home-stay owners
A Home stay is an informal accommodation facility offered to visitors who wish to experience the way of living of Basotho. As part quality assurance measures LTDC engaged Marketing Soluxn Company to conduct a two-weeks training for this category of accommodation providers. Trainees were equipped with skills on hospitality, etiquette and housekeeping and upon completion of the training, the facilitator Mrs Maleshoane Moea, urged the participants to practice what they have learnt so as to add value to their establishments and promote tourism in their respective areas, which will later translate to increased tourist arrivals to their area.
After awarding the certificates to trainees, the LTDC’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mpaiphele Maqutu emphasized that tourism is one of the sector identified to create employment and alleviate poverty. He illustrated no 10 Home stay as an epitome of a home stay which has dramatically changed the lives of the host community. Speaking on behalf of the participants Mr. Jubere Molete said the training was an eye opener and promised that they are going to apply the skills they have acquired. He further emphasised the importance of passion for what one is doing supplemented by patience. “Rome was not built in one day” he added.
Training of Excursion Providers
The LTDC’s CEO, Mr. Mpaiphele Maqutu while opening the training of Excursion Providers voiced his concern that, the tourism value chain in the tourism industry is the weakest link; hence, Lesotho is regarded as destination of free for all whereby it becomes easier for anybody to run their tourism business without leaving any income for Lesotho. It is against this background that, a specialist in tour operation business from The United Kingdom; Ms Carole Favre was engaged to train excursion providers in the tour operation businesses with a view to equip them with skills to develop packages and market their businesses effectively.
Mr. Maqutu urged the Excursion Providers to have a comprehensive knowledge and narrative of attractions, supported by well researched repository of information. In that way, the information disseminated to tourists would be accurate, concise and be consistent. He further added that, in this manner the training will to close the observed loop. During the training, Ms. Favre emphasised the importance of social media and internet in the tour operation business. She further highlighted the importance of doing business in a professional manner.