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Afriski back in operation with new strategies

By ‘Muso Nkhasi

After a short term closure, Afriski is back in operation. However, this year will be different from other years and new activities will be introduced this winter season.

Due to the uncerternities of the weather and delay in snow piling up to make top class skiing terrain Afriski in some occasions substitutes snow with artificial snow. Unfortunately this year that will not be possible due to the frequent power cuts of load shedding incurred by our neighbor South Africa. Its unfortunate location close to Clarens has somewhat affected us. There are backups of generators but unfortunately that works out too costly as the generators demand lots of diesel, the artificial snow equipment on the other hand uses high voltage hence the need for electricity. Thus there will be no adventure sports this season but chances of bum boarding are there.

Adventure sport, skiing and snowboarding, is a risky international sport that requires on point equipment which is imported from oversees. There are also European and Australian technicians involved who survey the equipment for safer use.

Since the cut of skiing and snowboarding, the facility grabbed an opportunity to provide clothes, shoes and other equipment for tourists for photo shoots. If we happen to have a snowy winter and clients own such equipment, they are allowed to make use of the facility.

The incorporated activities to find among others at Afriski this season are Christmas in July plus entertainment, paintball, monster roller coaster, Poli club for kiddies, movie nights and concerts. There will also be an attractive environment for food and drinks, mixology and entertainment by comedians while enjoying the food. Again, the facility opened up festival line-up for event organizers.

Afriski is also working on hosting its 200years celebration this year. It will launch its official opening ceremony on the 10th.

 The tourists are made aware of the curfew in the country and must abide by the regulations of specified hours between 2200hrs to 0400hrs.

The Chief Executive Officer of Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation, Tebello Thoola, indicated that the winter season brings more tourists in Lesotho through Afriski because of its elevation. He stated that tourists play a major role in the economy of Lesotho.  

The CEO Thoola explained that this increases job opportunities to Basotho through tourism. He said tourisms contribute to economic growth and National Development Strategy Plan 2 showed that tourism is one of the industries that are likely create employment in the country.

He said the main role of LTDC is to promote and sell Lesotho internationally, therefore they support Afriski by all means. He also advised Basotho to visit Afriski and bring with them their kids.

Lastly, Mr Thoola urged Basotho to respect tourists, and stop seeking financial assistance from our guests. He indicated that LTDC has travelled all districts educating policemen of the negative impact roadblocks can have on tourism. They also went to villages with the help of the chiefs to raise awareness to herd boys of the importance of tourists in the country, also urged them to stop inflicting harm to tourists and potentially scaring them away. 

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