LCT boss calls for benchmarking of operations

MASERU –– Lesotho Council of Tourism boss Motlatsi Rametse on Monday urged players in the tourism sector to improve their businesses to meet international standards.

Rametse was speaking at the launch of a week-long workshop for tourism-based businesses in Maseru.

“We need to upgrade our industry to meet international standards, in order to make our country a better tourist destination,” said Rametse.

He said the private sector must drive the process of transformation and growth in the tourism sector.

The LCT was launched by the government in January this year to bring together all the sub-sectors in the tourism industry under one roof and spearhead private-sector involvement in the industry.

Ramatse said the council is committed to ensure that the industry improves the quality of service and customer care.

He said it was important for Basotho entrepreneurs in the tourism industry to work closely with the LCT in pushing for policy reforms that are “tourism-friendly”.

Ramatse said Basotho are naturally good hosts but the challenge was to ensure that our hospitality sector meets international standards.

He said the main goal of the council was to encourage the private sector in Lesotho to invest and participate in the tourism industry as there was great potential for growth within the industry.

Rametse said members of the LCT will soon benefit from mentorship and attachment programmes they were planning within and outside the country.

He said lack of finance and training were some of the biggest challenges facing the industry in Lesotho.

“Most of the tourists from foreign countries use the internet to book for accommodation and check for their potential destinations.

“Our challenge is to also use the available technology to improve and advertise our operations as our country is still behind with respect to technology,” Rametse said.

The executive director of the LCT, ‘Matiisetso Libetso, said the workshop would provide critically needed training to businesses running accommodation establishments.

“The training is being provided by the International Hotel School from South Africa. Particular emphasis is on improving services, standards and customer care for bed and breakfast establishments, guest houses and lodges,” said Libetso.

She said Lesotho had embarked on a vigorous campaign to lure tourists to the country.

“Initiatives are being made to bring tourists to our shores in order to grow the occupancy rate of in our accommodation establishments,” Libetso said.

The workshop was attended by managers and owners of accommodation establishments and other players in the tourism industry.

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