The Indonesian government has allotted Rp3.5 trillion (US$250 million) of the national budget for tourism development in the Lake Toba Area, North Sumatra.
Speaking at the Sipinsur Park Geosite, North Sumatra, on Monday, Indonesian president Joko Widodo said he was setting aside the budget to turn Lake Toba into a “classy destination”.
“However, the products need to be improved (and) the brand needs to be uplifted so that it becomes a must-visit destination,” he said.
The development will require huge investments and an integrated public-private partnership approach, of which private-sector investment is likely to be several times more than the government funding.
Joko said the area has 28 potential tourism sites, which will be further clustered into different concepts spanning cultural, historic and natural.
The government will also need to integrate the product offerings, human resources, packaging, brand image and the environment, in order to position Lake Toba as a unique destination in Indonesia.
‘As such, when travelling to the country, visitors will find that (Toba) is different from Bali, Mandalika (Lombok) and other destinations,” Jokowi said.
He added that development of the tourism facility at Toba would start this year and is expected to be completed within a year.
Infrastructure development in Lake Toba has been underway since 2018, and currently only 21km of the 123km-long Samosir Ring Road awaits completion.