Lotus 30th Anniversary

23/03/2021

 

Lotus Asia Tours was established in 1991 in Bali, Indonesia, by the Italian entrepreneur Rodolfo Giusti. Throughout the decades it has grown into a group of travel and hospitality concerns operating in eight major countries of South East Asia and encompassing Lotus Asia Tours, Asco Lotus and Lotus Hotels. In various stages the new agencies were added on, first Singapore in 1993 and Myanmar in 1997, albeit the latter subsequently closed and reopened in the 2000s. In 1999 Malaysia came along while ASCO Lotus operating in Indochina (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia) become part of the family in 2009.
 
Few people have been instrumental to the development and growth of the company, commencing with Luciano Mancini who has launched the business from its inception, establishing it in markets such as Italy and Australia. Subsequently Roberto Don and Martina Mastrogiacomo have been pulled into the frame, one to manage and further structuring the tour operations and the other to marketing to the world both the travel and hotels businesses. Thanks to them the Lotus brand has made significant inroads into markets such as France and Portugal. Internally they reinforced the operations and revived units left behind such as the Malaysian one. Martina is still part of the team and we are proud to have her successfully marketing the Lotus Hotels.
 
Between 1999 and 2006 Fabrizio Tiribello has skilfully taken the Singapore unit to higher heights placing it on the map of the international MICE trade. His contribution has been particularly valuable at that time, for those were the years of Islamic terrorism. The Bali bombing in 2002 brought the business in Indonesia to a screeching halt. In the aftermath of that event and of the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, Lotus had generously landed its logistic and linguistic support to the Italian embassy and consular office for their search and rescue operations.
 
Between 2007 and 2010, Nicola Scaramuzzino replaced Roberto Don in the capacity of General Manager in Bali while Martina and Roberto moved to Kuala Lumpur to work at the Malaysian unit. The continuity strategy of Nicola focused on product development and on strengthening the coordination between the travel and hotels operations. Upon returning to Bali, Martina resumed her post of marketing while Roberto retired. In 2010 Nicola moved on to other career opportunities. At that time, no suitable candidates to replace him came on sight. Giliano Panari was called upon to manage the Balinese operation ensuring both continuity and the quality of services delivered.
 
The company had hitherto operated as a traditional brick and mortar DMC, each unit run with a great deal of autonomy and individuality. The fortunes of the business were thus left to the individual managers. While this model has been successful for the first two decades of Lotus existence, mostly thanks to some capable managers, it became rapidly obsolete and inefficient in the years following the great recession of 2008/2010. Attempts to restore the old laurels against the backdrop of sustained competition, technological transformation and, of an ever-shifting consumer demand were made, until a drastic change was brought about in 2015.
 
That year, a generational change offered the opportunity to move out of the impasse. Iskandar Giusti, heir to Rodolfo’s business estate, set up an action plan together with Fabio Delisi, a well-known and reputable manager of travel businesses in South East Asia.
 
The 5-year plan (2016-2021) envisioned the restructuring of the Lotus Asia Tours business model by regrouping the agencies property into one single holding company while reorganizing them into one homogeneously operating group. One ultimate holding company, Lotus DMC, was established in Singapore and all travel properties brought into its fold.  A corporate office was set up with the task of devising and implementing one common operating system and back office and, of standardizing all administrative flows, procedures, products, and marketing. Lotus embarked on a whole exercise to transform into a modern DMC with skilled communications, lean and modular products, and corporate services packages. Indeed, Lotus had redefined its posture, products, values, and modus operandi. The objective in mind for Fabio and Iskandar was the creation of a regional reality to contend with and a valuable and sustainable market force within the five-year period.
 
The following years were thus marked by considerable changes in the world of Lotus with the creation of a strong team of young talents lending the company a fresh, professional, and friendly image. Under the supervision and direction of Natalie Giusti, sister to Iskandar, all policies, procedures, and affiliations of Lotus Sustainability programme were set up and are carried out. 

The last 5 years have been marked by a continuous expansion of the Lotus brand in Europe, North and South America placing great emphasis on the incentive travel and meetings business segments.