In this issue: ① A Bumpy Season ② ASEAN Green Bonds ③ Myanmar Ruthless Junta ④ Toraja - Grandma in the Room ⑤ Lotus New Product and Summer Promos ⑥ So Many Good Reasons to Work with LAT ⑦ Bali from Spirituality to Instagrammity ⑧ Ciao Vincenza ⑨ Singapore Changi T4 ⑩ The New LAT website ⑪ Recap of entry Rules
A Bumpy Season
The restart, or shall we say the reset, of business is proving to be a rather bumpy exercise for all of us in the travel and transportation industries. We are challenged by a set of issues spanning from insufficient capacity to shortage of manpower and rusty procedures. The sheer volume of demand and sudden re-engagement is test stressing the whole system.
LAT Indonesia had its own share of setbacks and had to contend with a number of difficulties mostly related to the general unpreparedness of the destination, confusion generated by changing entry and movement rules, persistent cancellations and rescheduling of flights, all impacting our operations which had to undergo daily (and nightly) adjustments and realignments of the operational flows. We would want to offer our sincere apologies to our distinguished clientele and guests for the inconvenience they may have occasionally incurred into. By the end of July, we have added manpower and reviewed all our procedures enabling a better and faster handling of unexpected circumstances. LAT Singapore and Malaysia have fortunately experienced no disruption of sorts.
Albeit the current general circumstances of our industry we are proud to inform of our relentless pursuing of responsibility and sustainability projects we have embarked on since long ago. We are also glad to see that many operators are following suit and that our governments are now leading the way in pursing green and sustainability projects. According to a report by the Asian Development Bank in June this year, the amount of sustainable bonds outstanding from core markets in ASEAN and East Asia reached $478.7 billion at the end of March, posting a year-on-year expansion of 51.3%. This makes our region accounting for 18.1% of outstanding sustainable bonds globally, trailing only Europe as the second-largest market, the report noted. Singapore is targeting bonds for rail infrastructure meant to encourage more commuters to take trains and reduce their reliance on cars. The city-state is looking at reducing land transport emissions by 80% by mid-century. Singapore is also exploring the use of bonds for climate change adaptation, including coastal protection. As a tiny island-nation, it is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels due to global warming. Malaysia and Indonesia, which have large Muslim populations, have introduced green Islamic bonds, or sukuk. In 2017, Malaysia issued green sukuk to finance the construction of large-scale solar power plants.
Sadly, we have to announce the temporary suspension of our Myanmar operation. The brutality of the military junta continues unbated with four Myanmar leading human rights and prodemocracy activist summarily executed following closed door judicial procedures. This is an apparent attempt to instil fear in a resistance movement that has battled the junta since it seized power in a coup last year. Opposition leaders, human rights groups and the U.N. condemned the executions harshly. These depraved acts must be a turning point for the international community and Lotus Asia Tours is of the opinion that the economic support of a predatory and ruthless authoritarian regime clashes with its values and code of conducting business ethically and responsibly.
Indonesia, Toraja - Grandma in the Room
The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Most of the population is Christian, and others are Muslim or have local animist beliefs. The Indonesian government has recognised this animistic belief as “Way of the Ancestors".
The word Toraja comes from the Buginese language term to riaja, meaning highlanders. The Toraja people are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked-roof traditional houses known as tongkonan, and colourful wood carvings. Toraja funeral rites are important social events, usually attended by hundreds of people and lasting for several days. For Toraja, the death of the body isn’t the abrupt, final, severing event of the West. Instead, death is just one step in a long, gradually unfolding process. Late loved ones are tended at home for weeks, months, or even years after death. Funerals are often delayed as long as necessary to gather far-flung relatives. The grandest funeral ceremonies are week-long events drawing Toraja home in a vast reverse diaspora from wherever in the world they may be. When a brigade of a hundred or more motorcycles and cars rips through town accompanying a corpse home from far away, traffic stops in a manner that not even an ambulance or a police officer can command. Here, death trumps life.
Toraja do not reject medical treatments for life-threatening conditions. Nor do they escape grief when loved ones die. But far from pushing death away, almost everyone here holds death at the center of life. Toraja believe that people aren’t really dead when they die and that a profound human connection lasts well past death. Death for many Toraja is not a brick wall but a gauze veil. It is not a severing but just another kind of connection. Often in Toraja the deep link with a loved one doesn’t end at the grave. Periodically some northern Toraja bring their relatives out of their tombs to give them fresh clothing and burial shrouds.
Check out our Tanah Toraja discovery tours. Do enquire with us here.
LAT New Products
Look at the endless innovative touring products developed by LAT. From slow tourism to tours aways from crowds, from an agile system of modular scheduled departures in different languages to arts, architecture, food and education packages, just to name a few!
All our offers are now all strictly carbon neutral, all emissions being calculated and offset by projects in cooperation with Climate Partners.
LAT Super Summer Promos
Review our stream of offers for the summer. Just click here or contact us for enquires.
So Many Good Reasons to Work with LAT
Established in 1991
Independently owned and operated
Purely B2B with travel industry partners
Online booking engine with immediate
confirmation of hotels, tours and transfers
Skilful Contents Provider and Technology user
Knowledgeable and efficient reservations personnel
Long and proud association with the MICE industry in all Lotus destinations
Fully committed to Sustainability and CSR; ‘Travelife’ partner
Carbon Neutrality for all packages and services on offer
Extensive selection of scheduled group departures and innovative product lines
Direct access to a vast pool of local professional contributors
Owns small boutique island hotels strategically located
LAT Indochina subsidiary operating in Thailand and Vietnam
Multilingual guides in all destinations
Operations offices throughout its destinations
Centralised bookings and payments for multi destination tours
Assistance in language
Bali from Spirituality to Instagrammity
Bali’s Kelingking Beach is a rather hidden cove located by the village of Bunga Mekar, on the southwestern coast of Nusa Penida, a small island accessible with a one hour boat ride from Sanur, Bali. It is spectacularly framed by towering steep cliffs and washed by deep turquoise blue waters.
Bali’s Kelingking Beach has won a rather peculiar contest with 4,227 Instagram photos per meter. We might just be a step closer to determining the most gorgeous beach in the world. According to a recent research by money.co.uk, Bali’s Kelingking Beach tops the charts of the most Instagramable beaches in the world. The UK-based price comparison website has analysed more than 26 million Instagram hashtags to find beaches with the most Instagram posts per meter of their shore. Kelingking Beach in Indonesia secured first place with a total number of 338,193 Instagram pictures for 80 meters of its shore, which accounts for 4,227 pictures per meter. We couldn’t be prouder than that!
It is with a tad of sadness that we bid farewell to our Vincenza Andreini, indefatigable promoter of Malaysia in the Italian market for thirty years. Beloved by all sectors of the industry, she had to go due to ever shrinking budgets and international reorganisation of the Tourism Board. Vincenza, the entire LAT team wishes you all the best in your future endeavours. We are going to miss you!
Singapore Changi T4
Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 will reopen on September 13, with 16 airlines to relocate to the terminal progressively. This is as demand for travel rebounds, with airport gates at the currently operating Terminals 1, 2 and 3 becoming increasingly congested. It is set to come before the opening of another quarter of Terminal 2 in October, which means half of T2 will be operational by then. This will return Changi Airport’s handling capacity to its pre-Covid-19 level of 70 million passengers per year.
The New LAT website
LAT new website has been launched at the end of July. Surf it for a whole new load of information on the entire LAT groups services and hospitality
Summary of Entry Rules
Certificate of full Vaccination for Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia
Minimum Two vaccinations + Booster or Two Vaccinations + Negative Test are required to enter and travel within Indonesia
A fee of IDR 500,000 (USD 35) per person is charged upon arrival In Indonesia
No medical/travel insurances required for Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia
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