Lesotho: The North West Department of Tourism dominated the 5th Annual Inter Tourism games held over the Easter weekend in the capital of Lesetho, Maseru.
MEC for Tourism, Desbo Mohono said that her department emerged as an overall winner of this year’s Tourism games which were represented by tourism authorities from Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland and the host Lesotho.
“The games were mainly aimed at sharing best practices and showcasing each of the four countries’ potential in cementing existing and creating new partnerships among the SADC countries in the tourism industry.
“While sharing ideas and programmes among different tourism authorities, the games also ensure that Cultural Exchange and social cohesion are maintained within the participating countries,” Mohono said.
She further congratulated the North West Tourism Board Agency for representing the province and the country with aplomb during the games.
Mohono added that such games show that tourism knows no boundaries thus contributing immensely to the economic chain of that particular country.
“We share same culture, we drink same water from Katse Dam and the Vaal. We share many other resources, including electricity, we have our own people living in those other SADC countries and in that way it is clear that boarders are only a formality.
“My wish is for these games to make a big impact in marketing and ensuring that the SADC region in particular Bokone Bophirma becomes a preferred tourism destination recognised throughout Africa and the world at large,” she said.
Provincial Head of Department, Advocate Neo Sephoti emphasized the importance of such annual games.
Sephoti said these games bring the countries together and broaden minds as many get to learn a lot about different cultures and their practices.
“The games open doors for possible investors to endow and grow the tourism sorority as well as playing a significant role in allowing colleagues to network.
“We, as North West Tourism team are extremely honoured to be hosted by Lesotho and participate in the 2017 Inter Tourism Games.
“We managed to network with different individuals from miscellaneous milieu. That alone adds value to our mandate of promoting our province and country to the world,” she said.
Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation CEO, Mpaiphele Maqutu echoed Adv Sephoti’s sentiments.
Maqutu said tourism should be treated as a powerful tool of enhancing each other’s countries within the SADC region.
“Through these Inter Tourism Games, we should be able to identify each country’s strength and use that to grow one another as an amalgamation. If a tourist from overseas lands in North West Province in South Africa to see the big five, the tour operators should also give that tourist further information that there is a lot to see in the SADC region,” Maqutu said.