MASERU — The Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) is set to launch a website to help players in the tourism sector promote Lesotho on the international market next week.
The website, which can be accessed on the address www.visitlesotho.travel, was funded through a grant from the World Bank.
LTDC public relations officer Tsiu Shale said the website was currently on a test run but would go live sometime next week.
Shale said the website would help the country’s tourism industry compete on the international market.
Tourists in Western countries rely heavily on the internet to choose their holiday destinations and make bookings online.
But Lesotho is lagging behind as very few establishments in the country have facilities for online bookings.
Most local tourism operators do not have websites that display their products.
Shale said the new website was designed to address these concerns.
“As a Third World country the level of technological literacy among our business people is very low. It is therefore difficult for local tourism operators to compete and attract tourists,” Shale said.
He said there had been a shift on the international market for tourists to use the internet for almost all operations from marketing to bookings.
“The use of brochures to market the country as a tourist destination is becoming less efficient largely due to the use of new technology such as the internet.
“People have now switched to the use of this new technology and we were being left behind,” Shale added.
The new website has two micro-sites — one for travel and the other one for investment programmes.
The tourism site lists all the tourism establishments in Lesotho showing the major attractions as well as activities that are on offer to tourists.
The site also provides information about tourist attractions and accommodation establishments in the country’s 10 districts.
The investment micro-site provides information on investment opportunities available in Lesotho as well as a list of service providers such as banks and tour operators.
“Investors need information that is always up to date that they can use to identify investment opportunities and assist them in making investment decisions,” Shale said.
The government of Lesotho has identified tourism as one of the major potential drivers of economic growth.
But economic analysts say although the country has an enormous tourism potential that potential has remained largely untapped.