Let’s Wake Up to Our Future: An Exclusive Interview with LHA Chairman Stephane Servin.

Achievements, Opportunities & Challenges of Lombok Tourism

Senggigi, Lombok, June 29 2012: LHA chairman Stephane Servin, general manager of The Santosa at Senggigi, has called for more serious support from local authorities for controlled development of Lombok tourism before potential community benefits are lost.

Recently back from the industry-acclaimed 25th Korean World Travel Fair (KOFTA), Servin outlined LHA efforts to promote tourism, aired his frustration at impediments to appropriate government action and shared his expectations and fears for the industry’s future.

Healthy, controlled tourism development was crucial to the region as it would create direct employment for Lombok’s growing population and generate spin-off jobs in industries such as transport, construction, distribution and retail, he said.

“It also is a chance for a culture and population to be recognized and appreciated internationally and can be an instrument for promoting handicrafts, arts and cultural heritage. Good tourism can be our best ambassador.

“Properly managed and marketed tourism will generate community income, identity and pride as well as regional revenue to maintain cultural heritage at sites and events.

“Unfortunately Lombok is failing to realise its true potential, and advantages for everyone are being lost when tourism clearly is the best and easiest path to progress and economic improvement for Lombok.”

Servin outlined major issues in other industries, which gave tourism its lead. Gold and copper mining, while potentially revenue rich, was associated with major environmental concerns; agriculture was hamstrung by limited land and poor quality product; fish and prawn farming could not meet high rates of local tax; and industrial sea farming projects were impeded by regulation.

“No sector has the potential to create as much direct employment and generate supporting businesses as tourism.”

Servin said local government continued to allocate insufficient funds to produce adequate and appropriate tourism promotional material. “It appears tourism is not given priority status in budget allocations.

“True, we have seen a few Visit Lombok Sumbawa 2012 banners in Mataram, but they seem to target only local tourists.”

LHA had over the past year worked closely with the National Government’s Tourism Ministry.

This year LHA had represented Lombok at 10 international travel industry events and would attend a further eight. A Lombok blog site would be created for visitors to share their experiences and images. It would be linked to social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

Contemporary presentation material would be developed to meet the needs of guests and potential visitors.

LHA was working with the Agriculture and Cooperative Services Department to achieve improved supply of relevant food products to hotels and restaurants. “We need better supply of quality products at more competitive costs so we can provide a really great value-for-money experience.”

Servin expressed frustration at impediments to tourism growth such as the stalled southern Mandalika project in which “almost nothing has moved in 10 years.”

He called for greater effort to secure new flights, new airlines and higher seat capacity at Lombok’s new international airport.

“We have safety and security issues with villages around the airport trying to dictate how a provincial asset and international aviation facility should be operated.

“It is strange to focus on avoiding conflict with a few hundred people around the airport when hundreds of billions have been invested and while the economic welfare of tens of thousands of people and future investment in the trillions of rupiah are at risk.”

Servin urged local authorities to have higher regard for Lombok tourism as a serious business. “Land issues must be sorted out for new projects and support for investors must be real and consistent.”

Servin said LHA was grateful for limited support from the West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) provincial administration but encouraged it “to find a way” to actively promote tourism in a contemporary style.

LHA investment in tourism promotion had created jobs for thousands and deserved full local government support. “Tourist facilities must be improved. Promotion must be serious and relevant. Industry employees must be educated.

“People with experience and knowledge should be placed in government tourism positions. This is common business sense.

“We have very serious challenges but much can be done, especially by local government, to realise tourism’s true benefits to our communities and to the economy.”

∞ LHA is a member-only association of Lombok and Gili (islands) three-to-five star hotels and resorts.

The Santosa Villas & Resort reinforced it’s socially responsible activities and guest appreciation programs

The Management & Staff of The Santosa Villas & Resort Lombok striven to do the very best for their guests, community, environment and their selves.

 

Senggigi, Lombok, May 27 2012:  The Santosa Villas & Resort (TSVR) has a lot on their plate for this summer. First, The Santosa was privileged to host many VIP visits in May such as Mr. EE Mangindaan, The Administrative Reforms Minister of Indonesia; Mr. Chappy Hakim, the Indonesian Air Force’s Chief of the Air Staff from 2002 to 2005; Director General of Indonesian Forestry, which also include 12 participants from The Asean Social Forestry Network. Aside from those aforementioned events, The Santosa was also honored to welcome and accommodate Siteminder, an industry leader in Channel Manager and Online Accommodation Booking Systems from Australia for their free seminar,”Redefining Distribution”.

 

Secondly, The Santosa has been actively promoting Lombok through various travel fairs and events such as Majapahit Travel Fair  2012 in Surabaya and Gebyar Wisata dan Budaya Nusantara (GWBN) in Jakarta, Korea World Travel Fair (KOTFA) in Seoul and Asian Resort Expo in Singapore .The upcoming events which The Santosa will be attending include NATAS August 24-26  in Singapore and MATTA September 7-9 in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Thirdly, The Santosa’s annual school holiday package is starting this June 15 up till Oct 15 2012. The package is offering a great deal for families who are planning a holiday in Lombok. For only 2.750.000, – net, the package includes staying 3 days 2 nights at Santosa’s Deluxe Suite Room, daily breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children, one free extra bed, 25% discount for F&B and laundry service, free internet and free airport pick-up and drop off. Mr. Yono Sulistyo, The Santosa’s Sales & Marketing Manager confirmed that, “This package was designed exclusively for families and turned out to be such a big success last year that The Santosa decided to offer it again this year”. He added, ”A lot of families want to spend quality time with their kids during the school holidays and most of them want to do something different compared to the previous year. Lombok is a booming holiday destination and many who haven’t been to Lombok want to come and see this idyllic place”. Furthermore, “The Santosa is offering them deeply discounted prices in their holiday package, so all that they need to do now is pack their bags, book the flight and come to experience Lombok at its’ best. And hopefully those experiences will make them want to come back in the future”.

 

Other than the School Holiday Package, The Santosa is also holding a Photo Contest 2012, entitled ”We Love Santosa & Lombok” for all of their past and prospective guests. This event will be held during a three-month period, from June-August 2012. This Photo Contest is planned to be The Santosa’s yearly guest program; and as a way to express their appreciation and rewarding all of their guests for choosing The Santosa. The prizes include vouchers for 2 nights stay at Deluxe Suite Room (prize value Rp. 4,400,000, -), 2 nights stay at Deluxe Cottage (prize value Rp. 2,400,000, -) and 2 nights stay at Terrace Room (prize value Rp. 1,600,000, -)

Manerly F. Salvatore, Public Relations Liaison at The Santosa Villas & Resort, explained, “Apart from that, the photo contest is also intended to promote Lombok as a beautiful tourist destination. We believe, as a company in the hospitality & tourism industry, it is also our primary function to promote our island actively as an attractive business, events and holiday destination to domestic and international markets”. It is our hope that this Photo Contest will increase people’s awareness about Lombok and will also generate a positive sense of community identity and pride amongst the locals.’

 

Moreover, The Santosa is also launching staff health & wellness activities, and many community-support programs such as Beach Cleaning during the weekends of May and June 2012 (dependent on weather conditions), a Blood Drive in June 2, 2012 and Free English Tutoring Program for Schools in July/August 2012. “We are also planning to have even more community-support activities during the month of Ramadan. It is said that life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more. And, we do believe that hands that give also receive.”