Its neighbors never could afford to visit one of southern Africa's two ski resorts -- but this year, as tourism dropped 90 percent, they are putting on skis. Nestled in the Lesotho's Maluti mountains, Afriski -- 3,200 meters above sea level -- receives snowfall most of the year and, since 2000, has attracted about 27,000 foreign visitors yearly. The area's main employer, Afriski, lost 40 million South African rand (about $2.8 million US) and laid off 30 percent of its staff, due to the pandemic. But local visitors increased 20 percent after their entrance fees were waived, and new businesses are sprouting after the resort trained staff -- 86 percent of whom are local -- in painting, sewing, silkscreen printing, baking and carpentry last year.

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