ST-EP project in Lesotho delivers training seminars for excursion providers, tour guides, home stay providers and crafters
In Lesotho, UNWTO is collaborating with the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) to implement a ST-EP project on developing rural tourism initiatives in the Kome, Malimomg & Baroana areas, attractive mountainous destinations to the East of the capital city Maseru. The project is implemented with a financial contribution from the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation, and co-funding from LTDC.
Within the framework of the project, in the second semester of 2015, training seminars were organized for excursion providers, tour guides, rural homestay providers, and crafters, and a tourist map was developed with hiking, biking, and pony trekking routes, linking the three project areas. The seminar for excursion providers was attended by 11 small entrepreneurs. The seminar aimed to support the participants to start and/or grow an excursion enterprise, by building their capacity to develop excursions and to get access to tourism markets. The seminar provided the participants with valuable insights on how to develop new excursions or improve existing ones, making optimal use of the attractive natural and cultural heritage of the destination. It also gave detailed guidance to the excursion providers on marketing their products to individual tourists and establishing business linkages with foreign tour operators.
Likewise, the seminars for tour guides, rural home stay providers and crafters focused on building the capacities to improve the products and services offered to tourists, and to strengthen their marketing skills. The seminars were attended by 16, 34 and 24 local participants, respectively. Following the training seminars, several participants directly started to put the lessons learned into practice by making improvements in the products and services offered to tourists and by establishing contacts with potential clients. The ST-EP project will continue supporting the training participants by undertaking marketing activities, including the development of a website and upgrading of an information centre for the Kome destination.