Tourism in Lesotho

Lesotho recorded a total of 1 million tourists in 2018, ranking 112nd in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Lesotho, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.55 tourists per resident, Lesotho ranked 84th in the world. In Southern Africa, it ranked 4th.

Lesotho generated around 24.00 million US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 0.98 percent of its the gross domestic product.



Back to overview: Lesotho

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2018 spent about 18 US Dollars.

Development of the tourism sector in Lesotho from 1995 to 2018

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Lesotho each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g. crew members of ships or flights are also not considered as tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

The red line represents the average of all 5 countries in Southern Africa.

Tourists per year in Lesotho

Revenues in tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 29.00 million USD, or about 2.9 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 209,000 tourists at that time and roughly 139 USD per person. Within 23 years, the country's dependence on tourism has decreased substantially. In the last year of the survey, the revenue now amounts to 24.00 million USD, accounting for 0.93 percent of the gross national product. Each visitor now spends an average of 20 USD for his holiday in Lesotho.

Tourism receipts in Lesotho per year

All data for Lesotho in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
1995209,00029.00 m $2.9 %139 $
1996312,00033.70 m $3.6 %108 $
1997313,00033.72 m $3.4 %108 $
1998290,00024.70 m $2.7 %85 $
1999308,00023.10 m $2.5 %75 $
2000302,00018.00 m $2.0 %60 $
2001295,00016.00 m $1.9 %54 $
2002287,00014.00 m $1.8 %49 $
2003329,00021.00 m $1.8 %64 $
2004304,00026.00 m $1.7 %86 $
2005304,00027.00 m $1.6 %89 $
2006357,00029.00 m $1.6 %81 $
2007300,00031.00 m $1.8 %103 $
2008293,00030.00 m $1.7 %102 $
2009344,00030.00 m $1.7 %87 $
2010426,00023.00 m $1.0 %54 $
2011398,00024.00 m $0.92 %60 $
2012423,00022.00 m $0.87 %52 $
2013433,00017.00 m $0.70 %39 $
20141.08 m16.00 m $0.64 %15 $
20151.08 m34.00 m $1.4 %31 $
20161.20 m48.00 m $2.2 %40 $
20171.14 m23.00 m $0.96 %20 $
20181.17 m24.00 m $0.93 %20 $


All data correspond to the information of the World Tourism Organization.