Jokowi calls on local govts to unite for Lake Toba development
The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has demanded that all regions surrounding Lake Toba in North Sumatra cooperate in an effort to boost the development of Lake Toba.
Jokowi held a meeting with local authorities in North Sumatra on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the development of Lake Toba. The central government has pushed for the acceleration of development in the Lake Toba area.
"The meeting was called "United for Lake Toba" because it was held in conjunction with the seven regencies associated with the lake. If there is no unity and no agreement, it will be hard for the central government," he said in a press statement on Wednesday.
The North Sumatra administration and seven regents have agreed to cooperate for the development, with help from the central government. The establishment of the Lake Toba Authority Body was also approved during the meeting. The body is expected to oversee licenses for the 500 hectare tourism area, Jokowi said.
The expansion of Silangit Airport, closest to Lake Toba, was discussed and is has been agreed that expansion shall commence in April, with an aim to complete the project in September.
State-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II (AP II) president director Budi Karya Sumadi had previously said that the modernization of Silangit Airport would be complete before Lake Toba Festival event held in Berastagi, North Sumatra, on Nov 19-22, 2015.
The current of 2400 x 30 meter runway will be expanded to 2650 x 45 meters with a 140x300 square-meter apron.
"It will be able to accommodate large aircraft such as the Boeing 737-800 in order enable tourists to fly directly to Lake Toba," he said.
The government has also promised to build accommodation and better facilities in the Lake Toba Area.
"With better positioning and better promotion, we believe Lake Toba will be a better tourism area," Jokowi said.
Lake Toba is one of Indonesia's 10 priority tourism destinations in 2016, listed alongside Borobudur, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru, Thousand Islands, Wakatobi, Tanjung Lesung, Morotai, and Tanjung Kelayang. (rin)(+)
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