World Cup: Will Lesotho gain?

MASERU — In exactly 147 days the World Cup football tournament will burst into life in neighbouring South Africa.
The World Cup, arguably the biggest sporting event on planet earth after the Olympics, is expected to be watched by billions of people.
The tournament which will run from 11 June to 11 July is expected to boost the South African economy.
It is also expected to have a ripple effect on the economies of other southern African countries.
Business people in South Africa say they expect business to flourish during the tournament.
While there is vibrant activity across the border, Lesotho’s tourism actors appear to be in a deep slumber.
They appear on the whole to have failed to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime event.
It would appear that not much has been done to tap into the tourism opportunities surrounding the World Cup.
As a result, Lesotho seems very much prepared just to get the crumbs.
Small-scale traders in Maseru say not much has been done to attract tourists to Lesotho.
They fear that they will be left empty handed when the World Cup kicks off in South Africa in June.
Takatso Molala, who sells leather handicrafts, says they were likely to lose out come June as not much work had been done to market their wares.
Molala sells hand bags, sandals and belts along Maseru’s streets.
He says it would be a shame if they were to fail to capitalise on the increased numbers of tourists visiting the country.
He says he is still clueless as to how he could maximise sales during the football extravaganza.
He says he has been struggling to secure a decent a place to sell his wares.
“Our market is poor and so is the business flow. There are no good market places to sell crafts in our country.
“The government has also not helped us to market our products in time when multitudes of people will be around us,” Molala says.
He says Lesotho will reap the rewards of the World Cup if the country is marketed properly so as to attract tourists.
“If our tourist attractions and crafts were marketed earlier, I am sure we would come out of the soccer World Cup richer,” he says.
He lays the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Ministry of Tourism.
“Most of us are not in a position to advertise and market our products on our own.
“The least we were hoping for was for the government to help us but most of us have not received any kind of help from the government.”
Teliso Maiso, who specialises in designing and selling of clothing ware, says while business might pick up during the football tournament she is more worried about the days beyond.
Maiso says she is deeply worried by the “little attention” the government gives to those in the crafts industry.
“Tourism is a neglected area in our country. The government is not keen to improve tourism.
“We do not have a proper market which is accessible to all the craft designers,” she says.
She believes if the government gives more attention in helping small craft businesses the attitudes of locals towards the industry would change.
“We get too little support from the government and local people. It is so disheartening when people take you for granted with what you do for a living.”
On the other hand, Mpho Molapo, an assistant at Litema Design Gallery, says she can’t wait for the World Cup to kick off.
Business, she says, will boom only if you take the opportunity to take your niche.
“I am so excited. Tourists from all over the world will be flocking in to view our beautiful landscape.
“They will surely pop into our stores to grab one or two things back home,” Molapo says.
She however says she is also upset by the limited market for craft designers in Lesotho.    
“There is just too small a market for craft designers to sell their products. The limited available markets in hotels and lodges are just not affordable,” she says.
“We need a bigger space where designers can sell their products under one roof. We need a location where every tourist or potential buyer can know where to find us.”
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says Lesotho’s tourism market could benefit from the number of soccer fans from overseas and Africa.
“The expected numbers of soccer fans, believed to be approximately 500 000 (overseas and African) provide a sizeable audience and opportunities for raising awareness about regional tourism products whose benefits will go beyond the event.”
“The location of Lesotho in relation to South Africa provides it with a unique opportunity to benefit from the 2010 soccer event,” the UNDP says in a report written as part of Lesotho’s 2010 tourism strategy.
“Completely surrounded by South Africa, Lesotho is within a short flight/drive from three of the host cities. Bloemfontein is a mere one and a half hours drive away from Maseru. Johannesburg can be reached by a one hour flight or four and a half hour drive, while Durban can be reached by a six-hour drive from Maseru,” says the UNDP.
UNDP, however, says poor infrastructure might constrain the flow of tourists from South Africa into Lesotho.
“However, there are infrastructural constraints as access by air is limited and not competitively priced.
“And although Lesotho is linked to RSA by road, access is hampered by cumbersome border control procedures that can result in long waiting times to enter Lesotho.”
The UNDP says other constraints that hamper tourism growth include limited skills levels in tourism-related fields which negatively impact on service standards.
“All this is affecting the competitiveness of Lesotho as a tourism destination,” the report says.
In striving to capitalise on 2010 opportunities, the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation has developed 2010 tourism strategy which outlines how the country foresees removing some of the barriers holding back the tourism industry.
The strategy identifies a number of initiatives that could augment and improve the “tourism supply” and has also looked at identifying concrete actions to stimulate “tourism demand”.
“Key challenges that remain are, to determine the viability of the supply activities in light of 2010 and beyond as well as implementation challenges in terms of funding and capacity to manage such a large undertaking.”

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12 thoughts on “World Cup: Will Lesotho gain?

  1. Ministry of torism and sports ke bona baneng ba lokela ho bapala karolo e kholo tabeng ena.Joalo ka ha “lipotane” li sa le li lora ho tloha mohla taba ena ea world cup e neng e phatlalatsoa ke ne ke tsepile ebile ke lumela hore Lesotho le tlabe le balloa linaheng tse tla beng li itukiselitse ka botlalo tabeng tsena. Ke hopola ha letona la lipapali M’e MMTHABISO LEPONO ANTSE a bua ka lihotele.
    A bua le ka mabala a re ba hlokometse e le mmuso hore ho hlokahala mabala mme batlo aha mabala hore re tle re benefite.
    O ahile lebala le kang o ne a le ahela nkhonoae MAFETENG mane.Royal stand ea teng ke litantaka tse peli ke naha e fe etla llo bapalla moo.
    hoja mabala a le matle re ne re le bahloli cos ho tluoa bolong

  2. Lesotho will not gaing as was suposseed to be cos ho busa lirota le linyela feela tse buang haholo ka mahano ba mpa basa sebetse ho lokelang

  3. I m now on the internet chatting to KAKA. ke mo kopa hore a mpa twiste Brazilian Football Assosciation hore ba mpe ba tlo ikoetlisetsa Lesotho koano somuch dat we benefit some how bcos ba tla toura maybe. Ebe he ua mpotsa hoe na mabala a joang. Ke ne ke t’sepile hore mohlomong Makaoteng koana ntho lia khanya. Ha ke fihla teng ke fumane polata tste peli tse nang le litulo tse sa feteng le fifty. Ke t’saba le ho mo sendela Picture eo ke ilenf ka e nka ha ke le moo. Ruri a tla re phoqa Nkhono Mathabis Lepono.
    Fela he le rone Basotho rea makatsa hore na re ka t’sepela QHEKU-HALI leno hore le re etelle pele lipapaling. U itsebe papli tsane tsa khale koana Bo-lebeke, which were not business. Empa ho tla loka hle banna.

  4. Lesotho ne le tla una molemo o moholo hoja re busoa ke batho ba nang le chebelo-pele, ‘me ba sa nyelise ka hore ba tseba hore ha joang kapa joang ha ba lemo tse 20 ba ntse ba phela joale ba bona hose molemo oa ho sebeltsa naha. Haholo hape ha e le batho ba pelo limpe tjena, ba shebetseng bana ba bona feela. Ho bonts’a hore ba shebela haufinyane haholo: Bana ba bana ba bana, ba tlo nyalana le bana ba rona, e be baaisane ba bona, e be metsoalle ea bona, e be basebetsi ‘moho le bona, e be Basotho le bona.
    Liphephetso tsohle tseo bana ba rona ba tla be ba shebane le tsona, le bona li tlo ba tjamela. Chelete ena le mabitso a bona li keke tsa ba tsireletsa.

  5. You Moron (TOM), stop advertising your stupid parasitic business on our web; your time in Lesotho is long over-due, and you stay to suck money with the damn Lesotho2010. Go to hell, you snake. we know your nasty antics at Finance, and will catch up with you soon.

    Go to hell, moron, and stop back-stabbing Basotho in their own government.

  6. ka mehla lintho li nepahala ha li etsoa ke batho ba tsebang menaye le bohloko e fumanehang temg-ke tla ba tichere hobane ke ile ka khutla lihlopheng ‘me ka nts’etsa tsebo ea ka pele eseng ho chansa joalo ka ‘makwere-kwere a thehang likolo ebe ka morao hore likolofisi li pataloe ba nyamele.ke leka hore nkhono ‘mathabiso Lepono o mpa a itletse morafong le ba mopotileng hobane ha ke utloe na kanako e telele hakana ho ntse ho lokisoa stadium ho lebelletsoeng…ntle hore bano ba tlosoe mono ha ho letho le ka bang la loka!ka hlompho eohle,ba ichebile bo bona.

  7. Tebo, you are clearly a clown of note, from this website, lesotho2010, it seems that at least someone is trying to bring those foreigners to Lesotho to see our beatutiful land and spend there Euros, pounds and dollars here, heaven knows we need them thanks to the way this country is run to the dogs! It is a shame that as usual it the whites who do the work while we Basotho argue amongst ourselves as to who will get the most money, the politics make promises they cannot keep and we stay in poverty!

  8. @Tebo. Nice to see a Masotho being jealous and complaining about “foreigners”; you could try standing on the corner yelling “give me my money” or “limponpong” at the next foreigner that drives by just to complete the stereotype. “Sucking” money and being parasitic implies that there was a parallel tourism industry or 2010 venture being organized by Basotho, but alas this does not exist. Basotho have known about World Cup just as long as anyone else and yet made no large-scale attempt to capitalize on it. I applaud Lesotho2010 and other foreigners investing in Lesotho which will ultimately provide jobs and services to Basotho in addition to making money for the investors. Tebo, if you’re so keen to see a locally run enterprise, by all means get out there, raise the capital and show the foreigners how its done. Sitting around flaming people on the Lesotho Times website instead of doing something for yourself does about as much good as planting maize in June.

  9. What a shame and embarassment, as soon as we heard the announcement being made (how many freakin years ago was this ladies and gents????) we should have swung into action. But, that being said, who is “we”? If anyone seriously thinks that ordinary Basotho who work 12 hour days and are struggling to get by have the wherewithal to mount a serious campaign then clearly we’re being disingenuous. Please, let’s start by being honest first. The government, like the government in RSA, should have taken the lead in this and this would have had the necessary spin-offs for the private sector but people like A. Foreigner make it sound sooooo easy…you mean to say raising capital for that kind of venture is as easy as standing on a street corner and selling airtime or newspapers? give me a break! some of you are highly connected and know which sources of capital to milk, we know how these things work so don’t patronize “Basotho” please and don’t talk to us about stereotypes, you forget that there are many stereotypes out there and chances are: you fit one. Constructive criticism will always be well taken but delivering it with a flavour of sarcasm and no clue about the realities facing the masses of this country is downright arrogant. Best of luck with your venture!

    Haele mmuso oa Lesotho oona, the people who have been elected to drive such processes forward…I give up!

  10. What do you people expect from the caliber of people in this so called government of Lesotho? some of you sharing ur opinions here are just typical products of these people who claim to be leading the country. in fact let truth these government is fighting very hard to destroy this country. its stop as youth we stand up and say enough it enough, were tired of these empty promises of our government……..we need our future…..a foreigner l think you have no idea of what struggle means so better shut-up!!!!

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