Indonesia plans to disburse funds up to Rp2.4 trillion (US$ 171.43 million) in 2020 to build infrastructure in an effort to encourage the tourism industry in the Lake Toba - Photo: Privacy.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia plans to disburse funds up to Rp2.4 trillion (US$ 171.43 million) in 2020 to build infrastructure in an effort to encourage the tourism industry in the Lake Toba National Tourism Strategic Area in North Sumatra to become an international-scale tourist destination. This year the government has budgeted Rp821.3 billion.

According to Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuldjono, the infrastructure includes the construction of the Samosir ring road, Tano Ponggol bridge, revitalization of Lake Toba, embung, water treatment, sanitation, and structuring of the Lake Toba area.

“We already have a development program that will be implemented in Lake Toba from 2019 until 2020. Our ministry has created a Lake Toba strategic area development program. The program is an integrated program from all sectors that we have surveyed,” he said in a press release on Monday (07/29).

The minister explained the arrangement of Dolok Sipiak tourism area in Parapat Subdistrict, Simalungun Regency was carried out through the directorate general of human settlements in 2017-2018 at a cost of Rp5.8 billion. The area above the hill is a tourist destination because the location gets a beautiful view of Lake Toba.

However, in order to be more organized and comfortable to visit, the ministry built a number of facilities in the form of a dance studio, amphitheater, viewing a post, play area, souvenir shop, and vehicle parking.

In addition, the ministry will also conduct the Pesanggrahan Bung Karno pedestrian arrangement which was once the home of the exile of the first Indonesian President. The pedestrian arrangement will also be carried out in the Lake Toba side market area in Parapat. The government has prepared funds of Rp50 billion for the arrangement of the Parapat public open space.

Hadimuldjono also explained that the government is also building a ferry port to Lake Toba with total investment in 2020 reaching Rp469 billion originating from the national budget.

At least of the 12 ferry ports in the area were built, four of which have been developed until 2019 and will be completed in 2020, such as Simanindo, Ambarita, Muara, and Tigaras ports.

The other three ports will begin construction in 2019 and will be completed in 2020 such as Marbun Toruan, Tongging, and Balige ports. And there is a port that was built in 2018 and completed in 2019, namely Ajibata Port. Whereas the other four ports that will begin to be built in 2020 are Silalahi, Sipinggan, Onan Runggu, and Porsea ports.

Meanwhile, the ministry of transportation will provide support through the construction of five vessels by 2020, with a total investment of Rp122 billion from the state budget, including a 546 GT Ihan Batak Crossing Motorboat which was completed in 2018. Then, two Ferry Boats – 300GT and 200 GT – which will be completed in 2019 and 2020, and two Water Buses that will be completed by 2020.

Then, the ministry also subsidizes crossing transport operations and the Port Master Plan until 2020 with a total budget allocation of Rp4.7 billion.

Then, the provision of road equipment facilities amounted to Rp25.2 billion on several national road segments around Lake Toba. Also, multimodal transport subsidies up to 2020 amounted to Rp23.8 billion with several strategic routes.

The total investment support of the Ministry of Transportation from the land transportation sector for the development of the Lake Toba area up to 2020 reached Rp644.6 billion.

Aside from the land transportation sector, in the air transportation sector, the Ministry will also extend the Sibisa Airport runway which is the entrance to the Lake Toba Region from 1200 meters to 1900 meters, so that it can be landed by the ATR-72 type aircraft.

The ministry’s strategic move is a response to the commitment of President Joko Widodo who has decided to prepare a management plan for Lake Toba as a classy tourist destination.

During a visit to Lake Toba, Widodo said there were 28 tourist destinations in the area around Lake Toba, which had a historical, cultural, natural and psychological side to the community. Therefore, the government needs large investments, including funds from the state budget.

According to the President, the project to develop the tourism area around Lake Toba will be carried out starting in 2019 and is expected to be completed in stages starting in 2020.

For supporting facilities, Widodo suggested that everything is integrated, including products, human resources, packaging, brand, and distinctive differentiation with Bali and Mandalika. In addition, the President also said the need for an advanced and modern crossing port architecture in Lake Toba and could inspire young people to attract tourists.

US$1=Rp14.000

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com