Female-owned tourism businesses in Lesotho. Case Study: Mokhotlong Hotel and Motlejoa Guest House

Technical Report (PDF Available) · December 2013with 70 Reads
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1251.2088
Affiliation: ILO
Malingo, the owner of Mokhotlong
Hotel in Lesotho, entered the tour-
ism industry under difficult circum-
stances. The hotel was originally
owned by her father-in-law, who
passed away in 2005. It was then
inherited by Malingo and her hus-
band, but he also sadly passed
away in 2011, leaving her in sole
responsibility for the hotel, its
guests and over 50 employees. It
was a significant challenge but
one that Malingo has been able to
overcome with determination and
Manatela, the owner of Motlejoa
Guest House, had quite a different
entry into the tourism market. She
learned, whilst working for the
Government of Lesotho’s finance
department, that her cooking was
much admired by other col-
leagues. Soon she was being
asked to provide lunches for col-
leagues, followed by the depart-
ment, until finally in 1994 she de-
cided to open her own catering
company. After a decade of expe-
rience in hospitality Manatela di-
versified and started her own
guest house in 2004. Now she of-
fers 8 rooms to local and interna-
tional visitors.
Case Study: Mokhotlong Hotel and Motlejoa Guest House
Female-owned tourism businesses in Lesotho
Motlejoa Guest House
Motlejoa Bed & Break-
fast a.k.a (Motlejoa B&B)
was established in 2007
to play a significant role
in the economy of Leso-
tho. Lesotho also has a
lot of potential as a tour-
ist destination of choice
in the Southern region of
Africa as it has historic
places, desirable cli-
mate, highest altitude,
proximity to South Afri-
can tourism attractions.
Basotho people are
highly cultured and hos-
pitable, this is the kind of
culture that you can ex-
pect at Motlejoa. We are
based in Likileng, Butha
Buthe and our location is
central to all access
points for both local
and foreign travelers.
Mokhotlong Hotel
For bookings contact:
Tel: +27 22 920212
Malingo, the owner of
Mokhotlong Hotel (right
with her daughter)
Mamatela, the owner
of Motlejoa Guest
House (left with her
Both of these women entrepreneurial en-
joyed the training: I really appreciated the
training” notes Manatela; superbreinforces
Malingo. Although the two ladies operate dif-
ferent types of accommodation businesses
there are similarities of their experiences.
The communication we had [among staff]
was not good. It was like me talking and
them listening but we learned to share in-
formationManatela reflects. Malingo’s says
It has really taken a weight off my shoul-
ders”. Both have taken positive steps to im-
prove the lines of communication with staff,
regular staff meetings are taking place and
notice boards provide staff with lists of their
roles, responsibilities and tasks. The result,
Malingo notes: the staff are more confident.
They are more active - more happy”.
The financial benefit of being environmen-
tally -conscience has also been like watching
a (energy-saving) light bulb turn on. Malingo
has started to energy initiatives. When occu-
pancy is low they place all guests in the
same accommodation block to save electric-
ity and “turn off the geyser” in unoccupied
blocks. Manatela has also begun to reduce
her energy usage and recycle, which had
resulted increased savings. I think we have
saved about 40% of our profits”.
Finally, gender equality in the workplace has
shone a light on an important conversation
for both business owners. Manatela recounts
that she realized that the female staff “used
to shout at the men” and that it was inappro-
priate professional behaviour that was affect-
ing the motivation and productivity of her
male staff members. She has put policies in
place to ensure that all staff respect each
other and the result is better cooperation be-
tween workers. She notes that the men are
happier now. They are even willing to help in
the kitchen and move heavier things when
cleaning, so they share tasks”. Malingo’s re-
action to the SCORE training has been to
open up the job position opportunities to all
staff irrespective of their sex: people should
not be categorised as to whether they are
men or women - they are all the same”.
Authors: Andrew Rylance and Dr Anna Spenceley
Motlejoa Guest House
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