A TELEVISION series featuring staff from eight companies engaging in various sporting activities in some of Lesotho’s tourism destinations will be broadcast on local television.
This was revealed on Sunday during the award-giving ceremony for companies that participated in the Lesotho Tourism Corporate Challenge (LTCC).
The challenge was organised by travel operator Leseli Tours in collaboration with the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) with the aim of promoting domestic tourism. It consisted of a series of expeditions to various attractions as part of efforts to make Basotho tourists in their own country.
Staff from Matekane Group of Companies, Alliance Insurance, Boliba Savings and Credit, Lesotho National Broadcasting Service, Vodacom Lesotho, Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) and LTDC participated in the challenge.
Among the tourism destinations the teams competed in was the Kome Caves, Semonkong, Sehlabathebe, Liphofung and Thaba Bosiu where they engaged in such activities as abseiling, skiing, boat-racing and walking.
Speaking during the prize-giving ceremony, in which LHDA was the overall winner, Leseli Tours Director, Rethabile Stephen Morake, revealed the 13-episode challenge was produced in the form of the reality television game show where the teams were whisked to different destinations.
He said the televising of LTCC was meant to promote domestic tourism.
“Leseli Tours came up with the idea of a television programme that showcases tourist destinations across the country after noting the dearth of local content promoting tourism in local television programming,” said Mr Morake.
“Most of the content we watch is from South Africa and overseas. We, therefore, saw the need to produce local content by filming the teams from the corporate sector in action.”
In addition to supporting the tourism industry, he said the challenge also served the purpose of creating jobs in the production of the TV series.
“We are proud to have come up with a product that was wholly produced by Basotho and also created jobs,” Mr Morake said.
“We engaged an all-local cast and production team. The director and camera operators were part of a team from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology who graduated in Film Studies.”
He said the participants interacted with members of the communities in which they competed.
“We found lodging in the local communities, bought and prepared local food. In the final challenge between LHDA and LTDC, the teams were sent out into the communities to buy a sheep each and prepare it.
“The teams were also tasked to engage members of the communities to lend a hand in some challenges. Companies like Basutoland Ink sponsored the apparel that was worn by the participating teams, CATS Productions contributed their filming equipment while music was performed by Malealea band.”
Mr Morake added: “This coming together of individuals and corporates is proof that we can all improve our lives through tourism.”
In his remarks, LTDC Chief Executive Officer Mpaiphele Maqutu lauded the challenge for fostering a competitive spirit among the participants.
“When I was chatting with one of the participants from Boliba Savings and Credit, I was happy to learn the extra effort some of the participants put themselves through in the name of the competition,” he said.
“The participant revealed that even though he could not swim, he still ventured to participate in a boat race in the middle of Mohale Dam as shown in one of the episodes.
“I therefore hope every Mosotho will also venture to tour their own country before visiting places outside Lesotho.”
For her part, Tourism and Environment Minister Likeleli Tampane commended Leseli Tours for promoting the tourism sector.
“Leseli Tours has done a great job in promoting tourism, and I wish to appeal to the private sector to also make such a contribution. We are proud of the television content they have produced which serves to inform more viewers about the places worth visiting,” she said.