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LATest e-bulletin September '23


In this issue: ① Quote of the Month ② Flight Affordability ③ A Wonderful Season ④ Nusantara ⑤ So many Good Reason to Work with LAT ⑥Stonewall Bali ⑦Malaysia Renewable ⑧MICE Carbon Emissions ⑨ Grand Copthorne Waterfront


"The tongue may be an unruly member, but silence poisons the soul"

Edgar Lee Masters


Flight Affordability

Many in the travel industry were left wondering after China's unexpected reopening announcement in the final days of 2022. It was widely assumed that a surge of travelers would eagerly depart China, given the three years of stringent "zero-Covid" policies. However, a significant portion of residents chose to stay home, either by preference or due to the challenges and expenses associated with leaving the country. There are several factors contributing to the sluggish recovery of outbound travel from China. These include a lack of affordable flight options and extended waiting times for travel visas. While domestic airline capacity in China has fully rebounded, international flight capacity remains at less than half of pre-pandemic levels, with a reduction of nearly 5 million seats, as reported in Skift Research's "State of Travel 2023" released last week.

Airfares have surged at a time when the European travel market has become increasingly price-sensitive due to the rising cost of living, potentially dissuading the middle class from pursuing their vacation plans. These fare hikes are likely to impact the travel sentiments of the European middle class, who are already feeling financial constraints at home. The escalating cost of living is already putting pressure on travelers, reducing their discretionary income. Now, as tourism demand rebounds and jet fuel prices are climbing back again, the airline industry is raising ticket prices further.

This has created a negative sentiment surrounding vacation plans, potentially leading the middle class to reconsider, postpone, or even cancel their travel arrangements. Consumer Survey reflects this concern, with 66% of Europeans expressing varying degrees of worry about the impact of inflation on their household budget. This demonstrates that customers are already apprehensive about their decreasing disposable income, and the additional burden of increased airfares may only exacerbate this issue.

Despite these challenges, LAT is currently enjoying a remarkable year, with visitor numbers exceeding 20% of those seen before the pandemic. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our valued customers and all those who have selected our destinations for their travels.

While we foresee the continuation of this positive trend in the coming months, it's essential to recognize that our outlook for 2024 may become more challenging unless airlines expand their capacity and oil prices remain stable.


Nusantara, Indonesian Borneo


Located more than two hours away by air from Jakarta and requiring an additional two-hour drive from Balikpapan airport, a new city is emerging within the expansive rainforests of Borneo Island. In August next year, Indonesian President Joko Widodo plans to transfer certain government functions to this new capital, Nusantara. Just before his term concludes in October 2024, President Widodo intends to host the Independence Day celebration outside the newly constructed presidential palace. With just a year left before this monumental move, senior government officials are articulating their lofty goals for this transition – they aim not only to relocate the capital but also to transform it into a thriving economic center. This endeavour was set into motion following President Widodo's re-election in 2019, driven by concerns over Jakarta's congestion, pollution, and the need for an economic catalyst in the eastern part of the sprawling archipelago. The relocation plan is designed to unfold over five phases, culminating in 2045. As of now, the initial phase, encompassing the core government area spanning 66.71 square kilometers, has seen 36% of construction completed. This includes progress on sections of toll roads and the presidential office, with the main building's framework becoming visible at the construction site. Authorities anticipate that construction will reach 70% completion by year-end. Indonesian officials estimate that the population of Nusantara will grow to 60,000 in the coming year, reaching 2 million by 2040 and surpassing 4 million by 2060. The city will occupy a land area spanning 2,561 square kilometers. Envisioned as a "green and smart global city," this ambitious project is integral to President Widodo's vision of propelling Indonesia into the ranks of developed nations and fulfilling the nation's commitment to achieving zero carbon emissions by 2060. A promotional film screened during a July media tour showcased a futuristic, well-connected city equipped with modern public transportation, all set against the backdrop of lush rainforests.



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

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


TATTLER

Stonewall Bali

Stonewall Bali is an exuberant and boldly vibrant addition to Bali's diverse scene. This enchanting new bar, nestled in the heart of Seminyak, softly opened its doors on July 7 and celebrated its official grand opening on August 19.

Stonewall Bali invites everyone with open arms, transcending boundaries and celebrating individuality. Their grand opening event, aptly named "Glam Opening," will feature none other than Kita Mean, the New Zealand drag performer who triumphed in the inaugural season of RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under.

The name Stonewall symbolizes unity and pays homage to the legacy of acceptance set by the original Stonewall Inn. Stonewall Bali is a local expression of creating a space that embraces diversity and love without constraints—a sanctuary where people from all walks of life can gather and be themselves, free from judgment or prejudice. This mission reflects the venue's core values.

With an exciting lineup of local and international talent, Stonewall Bali promises thrilling entertainment. Setting itself apart, Stonewall Bali introduces its kitchen, offering delightful culinary experiences for both lunch and dinner, while transforming into a fully air-conditioned entertainment hub as night falls.

Stonewall Bali's event calendar overflows with excitement, featuring live music shows, drag performances, and various forms of entertainment. At its heart, Stonewall Bali embodies a philosophy of providing an all-embracing haven for celebration and belonging. As Stonewall Bali takes its place in Seminyak nightlife, it marks an extraordinary chapter in the district's history.

A shining beacon for diversity and inclusivity, Stonewall offers an escape into a world where nights dazzle with unapologetic flamboyance, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who step through its doors.

For more information and updates, follow Stonewall Bali on Instagram @stonewall.bali.


HIGHLIGHTS

Malaysia Renewable

Malaysia has launched programs to promote renewable energy in a country that has relied heavily on fossil fuels, hoping to lead Southeast Asia in transition to a greener economy But the ambitious targets, such as having renewables supply 70% of the total energy supply by 2050, have experts stressing that the government needs to roll out complementary regulatory frameworks to support the transition. Unveiling the first phase of the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) last week, the government identified 10 flagship catalyst projects and initiatives, ranging from constructing renewable energy zones and creating biomass demand to capturing carbon and promoting greener mobility.


MICE Carbon Emissions

The Workshop Agreement (WA) 4 Sustainable MICE – Guidelines for Carbon Emissions Management was introduced by SACEOS (Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers) in collaboration with the Singapore Standards Council (SSC), overseen by Enterprise Singapore. This announcement took place during the Singapore MICE Forum (SMF) held at the Sands Expo & Convention on July 27. These standards have been designed to bolster the Singapore MICE Sustainability Roadmap and align with the goals of the Singapore Green Plan 2030. They provide essential guidelines for industry to enhance its management of carbon emissions.


Singapore Grand Copthorne Waterfront

Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, part of Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR), has unveiled its S$30 million (US$22.3 million) renovation after a nine-month revamp that commenced in October 2022. At the forefront of Grand Copthorne Waterfront’s renovations are its 33 versatile function rooms. Spanning over 6,200m2 across three floors, the conference spaces benefit from an abundance of natural sunlight, and come equipped with cutting-edge technology, including wireless video signal transmission, laser projectors, and 2K to 4K high-resolution LED video walls.



Our whole product for free and independent travellers, groups and MICE are based on a Climate Contribution programme. This means that part of the greenhouse gas emissions that will be generated are offset by projects in collaboration with Climate Partner, one of the leading climate protection solution providers for companies.

The arising emissions are being compensated by supporting a third-party certified forest protection project in Rimba Raya, Borneo. The project protects over 64,000 hectares of tropical peat forest from deforestation by offering people in the region alternative sources of income to illegal deforestation.


For over thirty years, Lotus Asia Tours Group has provided services and assistance to travellers the world over, specialising in the design and implementation of corporate events, activities, incentive tours and motivational travel, targeted at FIT, GIT and MICE markets, in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar and Indochina. The group also operates four boutique island hotels in Indonesia, in Lombok, Bali, Sulawesi and Papua. To learn more about our brand please head to our website, or contact us directly; we look forward to hearing how we could help make your next trip, tour or event memorable and successful. Corporate Office D-5-4 Megan Avenue 1, 189 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia T: +60 (0)3 21617075 · F: +60 (0)3 21617084 · E: latgroup@lotusasiatours.com


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THAILAND · VIETNAM · CAMBODIA · LAOS

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