Mohlakapase Guesthouse in Leribe district was awarded three-star grading by the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) last Wednesday.
The impressive facility is owned by Matšeliso Mokuoane, who proudly noted that she has not even been in business for two years, but is already reaping the rewards of her hard labour.
The LTDC has embarked on a star-grading system to ensure uniformity and consistence of service at every hospitality facility in Lesotho.
Handing over the grading certificate to Ms Mokuoane, the LTDC Investment Promotions Manager, Mamello Morojele said the initiative should be taken very seriously as it would assist the establishments attract more clients, especially tourists from abroad.
“Tourists are very particular about the number of stars the accommodation facilities they book into have been awarded, so it’s about time that our operators took this grading exercise very seriously, as it could change their businesses for the better,” Ms Morojele said.
“What the operators must also understand is that the stars are not permanent; the owners must realise that they need to maintain the standards or improve their services to get an even better grading.”
Ms Morojele further said all the graded facilities would be visited again after one year for re-evaluation.
“When we visit your guesthouse again after one year and find out that services have gone down, we have the right to take the stars away, so you have to work hard to maintain the standards that we saw when we decided to grade you,” Ms Morojele said.
“The stars also come with a number of benefits such as training for staff from relevant tourism and hospitality institutions. After the grading, we expect your facility to be fully booked most of the time, and for you to come knocking on our doors for the expansion of the facility. That’s how grading benefits you; increased business and the potential to expand it even further. We would want to applaud you for the unique work you have done with this guesthouse; you were not afraid to consult and I want to believe that your bravery is what got you here today.”
In her acceptance speech, Ms Mokuoane said she was proud to have been recognised for the hard work she had put into her guesthouse.
“This line of business requires passion and determination. I only started this with a dream, and had no capital at all. But I worked very hard to be where I am today and spent a lot of money to make sure I had the best facility possible that would satisfy my clients,” Ms Mokuoane said.
“When I started, I realised that I needed to spend money to make money. I haven’t even been in business for two years now, but already, I am doing exceptionally well. Now that we have these three stars, I hope the business is going to grow even bigger.”