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LATest e-bulletin September '22

In this issue: ① Titik Nol in Borneo ② Industry Headwinds ③ Myanmar Wa Independence Fighters ④ Lotus New Product ⑤ So Many Good Reasons to Work with LAT ⑥ Ticket to Paradise ⑦ Singapore Changi T5, the New Airport ⑧ SAF ⑨ We Will be There ⑩ Recap of entry Rules

Titik Nol and The Headwinds

Time is running short for the new Indonesian capital city project. The government wants to move its Presidential Palace to the new capital in early 2024, but construction has only begun on some basic infrastructure and enthusiasm among domestic and international investors has yet to heat up. Some investors have pulled out of the project in March while no major new investment pledges have been announced. The construction site of a new presidential palace in the jungles of Borneo, aside from trees, only shows a white sign with the words, "titik nol," indicating the center point of Indonesia's future capital, Nusantara.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's ambitious plan to relocate the seat of government is unprecedented by global standards. Of the $31 billion in expected construction costs, plans call for 80% to be funded by outside means, especially from the private sectors and governments of rich countries. But new global realities -- rising materials prices and monetary policy tightening -- are making it more difficult for Nusantara to keep attracting the kind of cash it needs to materialise.

Similarly, the travel industry in the region, following up to the past enthusiastic summer season is facing headwinds for the months to come. Despite sporadic coronavirus outbreaks, countries in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations have dropped or seriously scaled back entry restrictions for travellers in a bid to revive economies bogged down since 2020. But the pandemic is not over.

Further, travel demand is dented by high fuel costs and the Russia's invasion of Ukraine still hinder a full rebound of tourism.

The outbound tourism from China, on which many Asian countries depend, will remain limited as Beijing continues to pursue its zero-COVID policy that keeps quarantines in place for arrivals. In addition, many corporates retain a cautious attitude toward business travel.

Some hopes are inspired by the first European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit of national leaders in December to discuss expanding trade and infrastructure assistance as the EU seeks to strengthen ties with the Asian block. Myanmar is unlikely to join the summit, given its military government's fraught relations with fellow ASEAN members and the EU.

Aside from the industry trade developments, we have seen a number of comforting social and political events unfolding during this past month including the decriminalisation of homophobic laws in Singapore and the liberalisation of medical marijuana in Thailand.We have also witnessed acts of independence from the political yoke by the judiciary both in Malaysia and Thailand. The highest court of Malaysia, despite threats against judges, upheld the conviction of Najib Razak, a former prime minister, for abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering while Thailand's Constitutional Court has suspended Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha from duty until it rules on a petition filed by opposition parties that the one-time army chief has served beyond the constitutionally mandated eight years.

The office of Indonesia’s president has confirmed that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are to attend the summit of the G20 in Bali in November, drawing even farther the attention of the world to our home place.

Myanmar Wa Independence Fighters

Feared as fierce fighters and denigrated as mountain savages, Myanmar's Wa ethnic community fields the largest non-state army in Asia, which will be a key military and political player no matter how Myanmar's current chaos ends.

The Wa have resisted rule by the Chinese, the British and Myanmar's majority Burma group, pretty much carving out a virtually independent nation for itself.

The community has been shunned by the outside world, with the exception of China, for its decades long involvement in drug trafficking. But the self-named Wa State is not a narco-state of cash-rich drug lords. Rather, it is regulated by a dozen government bureaus, including institutions with responsibility for issues like education, agriculture, public relations and women's affairs.

Despite once being one of Southeast Asia's most marginalised groups, the Wa community has steadily carved its own path.

Now, the younger generation holds the key to its future evolution.

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.

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


Ticket to Paradise

Ticket to Paradise is an upcoming romantic comedy film directed by Ol Parker and written by Parker and Daniel Pipski. The film stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts. Two divorced parents travel to Bali after learning their daughter, Lily, is planning to marry a local, Gede, whom she has just met. They decide to work together to sabotage the wedding to prevent Lily from making the same mistake they made twenty-five years ago. The film has drawn some criticism for being entirely shot in Australia despite the story taking place in Bali, Indonesia. Ticket to Paradise is scheduled to be released in Australia on September 15, 2022, in the United Kingdom on September 16, 2022, and in the United States on October 21.


Singapore Changi T5, the New Airport

Changi Airport’s Terminal 5 will serve 50 million passengers a year - more than T1 and T3 put together. In fact, it one additional Changi Airport that is being built, designed to be more resilient, in particular, to operate more safely and flexibly during a pandemic. It can be split and operated as smaller sub-terminals when needed, with spaces that can be converted into quarantine or testing facilities. It will have contactless passenger touch-points and ventilation systems that can increase fresh air or minimise mixing of air when there is a threat of airborne disease. Construction is expected to start in about two years for T5 to be operational in the mid-2030s.T5 will be located within the 1,080ha Changi East development, which is Changi Airport’s largest expansion project to date. It also includes the Changi East Urban District, a business and lifestyle hub next to the terminal.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

SAF is about three times as costly as ordinary jet fuel. Even so, airlines have undertaken 450,000 flights with SAF in the fuselage. With the industry aiming to become carbon-neutral by 2050, that number is set to soar. Someday even the most environmentally finicky passenger may board aircraft with a clean conscience.

We Will Be There

Meet the LAT team at TTG Incontri, 14-14 October Rimini and WTM 07-09 November London and discover the new world of LAT tour and hospitality services.

Summary of Entry Rules

Certificate of full Vaccination for Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia

Minimum Two vaccinations

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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