The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Masilo Malakwane

CLARENS– It was a unique mixture of glitz, glamour and culture when the Department of Small Business, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Destea) hosted a gala dinner to mark the 2021 World Tourism Day at Clarens on Sunday. 

Clarens is touted as the Free State’s premium tourist destination because of its resorts, hotels and entertainment attractions.

The theme for this year’s World Tourism Day was ‘Tourism for inclusive growth’.

Women make up the majority of the workforce in the tourism sector in the country. They were honoured at the occasion by multiple-award winning comedian David Kau who directed the gathering at Clarens’ Andes Guesthouse.  The event was attended by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela, MEC Makalo Mohale, Thabo Mofutsanyana district Mayor, Malefu Vilakazi and Lindiwe Makhalema of Dihlabeng municipality, among others.

The national department of tourism chose the province to host the gala dinner to inspire women in tourism, more exclusively those who did not disappoint even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mahlalela, said: “This night is meant to celebrate our country’s achievements as we strive to institutionalize tourism through inclusive growth for all.”

Destea MEC Makalo Mohale, Mme Mathoto Tlokotsi of Letsheng Lodge and Deputy Minister of Tourism Fish Mahlalela in Clarens Free State.

For his part, Mohale stated that, with tourism being one of the sectors most affected by Covid-19, the department saw the need to acknowledge the 40 women who make up the Thabo Mofutsanyana Women in Tourism. He said the department has taken note of the many women in the sector who have the passion to move tourism regardless of challenges they face.

Mathoto Tlokotsi of Letsheng Logde in Qwa Qwa, received a R50,000 cheque on behalf of Thabo Mofutsanyana Women in Tourism, as a token of goodwill and appreciation of their efforts, from the MEC.

“We are honoured to receive this cheque from our MEC and we really appreciate the Destea for demonstrating belief in us. Women only need a bit of a support to realize their tremendous potential. Some of our colleagues were forced to close down operations as Covid-19 tightened its grip on the economy,” Tlokotsi said.