Q & A with Mr. Agung Yoga Asmoro, CEO & Director of Lintang Buana Tourism Services, with main office in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia.
"An environmentally, socially, and culturally responsible tour company."
HOW IS YOUR COMPANY DIFFERENT THAN OTHERS TOUR SERVICES IN INDONESIA?
We try to be more than a business, we value the opportunity to be an agent of change. In other words, we believe that we can serve as a “real” ambassador on behalf of our country. We treat our customers very well and maintain excellent communication with them before, during, and even after their time spent with us. We have an important responsibility to educate our guests about Indonesia and to make sure they have an authentic and positive experience they can take home and remember for years to come.
Newcomers are surprised that Indonesia is such a big country in terms of geography and so diverse, too. Yet we are able to unite as one country. They are also surprised that what they experience in Indonesia may be very different than the perceptions they had from the media before coming here. They also discover that they like Indonesian food!
For diving activities, we partner with registered diving operators around Indonesia. Some guests come ready with a PADI certificate. If they do not have the certificate, they can enroll in a PADI class at the nearest location here to get certified. That’s a requirement prior joining any diving activities. The dive operators provide all the diving and snorkel gear for rent at their locations.
HOW DO YOU SEE ECOTOURISM IN INDONESIA GROWING IN THE FUTURE?
I believe that ecotourism in Indonesia will be bigger in the future.
Government officials and other stakeholders have stated their intention to make ecotourism a priority within overall tourism development. They have created new regulations on both the national and local levels and authorized an ecotourism committee to coordinate between the Ministries of Tourism, Maritime, and Forestry. As a result, tourism companies here are becoming more aware of environmental issues and are improving their operations to comply with the new regulations.
Another factor is that tourism as an academic subject can be studied by students at our universities.
And at the local level, I see Indonesian people being enthusiastic supporters of their local ecotourism DMOs (Destination Management Organizations).
In my opinion, travelers can be change agents too. They can make a positive impression directly to the Indonesian people by making certain choices.
For example, they can use local public transportation or hire a locally owned small transport company. They can stay at small-scale locally-owned lodges and also consider homestays where that is a possibility. Eat at local restaurants. All these things bring revenue into the local communities. Also be respectful of the local norms and traditions.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT INDONESIA AS A TRAVEL DESTINATION?
Indonesia is unique because she has over 17,000 islands! We are the largest archipelago in the world, stretching 3,200 miles from east to west in the Equator region between the Australian and Asian continents. We are rich in plant and animal and sea life. Many visitors come here specifically to hike our rainforests and volcanoes while others come to dive and experience our most beautiful underwater coral reefs.
In addition, we have traditional cultures to share, including festivals, ancient temples, and always the breathtaking natural beauty. After visitors come here the first time, they want to come back again.
Please keep in mind that Lintang Buana Tourism Services is 100% Indonesian owned, and it is our pleasure to answer your questions about the most authentic experiences you can have when you are here.
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