Extraordinary! Tourists visiting Lake Toba Up 300 percent

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya's step to encourage Silangit airport in North Tapanuli regency, North Sumatra to become an International Airport makes more sense. During the first semester of January-June 2017 the number of passengers arriving via Silangit reached 124,000. The figure grew by more than 300% over the same period last year.

"Last year 31,000 passengers, now there are 124,000 passengers, the rate of increase is already 300% more. So in a month no less than 20,000 passengers. Our prediction until the end of the year 250,000 passengers, and even could reach 300,000 passengers this year, "said President Director of PT Angkasa Pura II (Persero) Muhammad Awaluddin, Sunday (30/7).

Figures 124 thousand itself is over the target, because the projection is still in the figure of 100 thousand this year. Mid-year has passed the projection limit.

"The data shows the public interest to the tourist area of ​​Lake Toba is very high," said Muhammad Awaluddin the original Palembang.

Awaluddin said, there are two airlines that serve flights to Silangit namely Garuda and Sriwijaya. And in the near future will follow Lion. "From the initial opening, Garuda flies 3 days a week, now every day and Sriwijaya with Boeing 737-500 aircraft flying twice a day," he continued.

AP II is also continuing to work on the development of Silangit to be used as an international airport in September 2017. Its terminal capacity is targeted to accommodate 500,000 passengers a year. Fivefold from the previous projection at the limit of 100,000 passenger capacity,

"Runway of Japan's relic airport was extended from its current 2,200 meters to 2,650 meters. Then the runway width is widened from 30 meters to 45 meters, "he said.

Awaluddin's initial greeting - said the increase in passengers after the international airport will be pursued by attracting passengers from three airport hubs, namely Singapore Changi Airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.

"The initial design is for domestic. But then the Ministry of Tourism asked to be developed to support tourism in Lake Toba. What distinguishes the domestic airport is the principle only the addition of facilities Customs, Quarantine, and Immigration, "he said.

There is great potential that can be achieved from here. And the mainstay of the issued is the focus to the Singapore market through the airline. After that, drove tourists from Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok. "So tourists like from China who have long in Bangkok can extend (extend) holidays to Lake Toba," he said again.

Vacation to Lake Toba, now it does not have to travel far for six hours from Medan. Awaluddin's projections to raise the capacity of airports and world standards are in line with the Ministry of Tourism target, to build access to priority destinations in the country.

"Silangit Airport indeed we build an international airport because Lake Toba we have set a national tourism destination. Can not be anymore from Kualanamu airport, its distance to Parapat too far, if from Silangit takes two hours or 1.5 hours, "said Minister Arief Yahya.

"If you want to be a global standard, and have customers in the global market, then the access must be international standard. So there is direct flight that can be directly from the origination country to the priority destination, "he said.

The man who was once the Managing Director of PT Telkom added the management developed to know the main priority terms and do not do other things that are not priority before the main ones are solved.

"Therefore, building access is my main job and my number one priority right now," he said

Lake Toba in North Sumatra has become one of the 10 National Strategic Tourism Areas (KSPN) with Tanjung Kelayang in Bangka Belitung, Morotai in North Maluku, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi, Thousand Islands in DKI Jakarta, Borobudur Temple in Java Central, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara and Bromo Tengger Area in East Java

In the near future, another airport that will be upgraded is Komodo Labuan Bajo, which is still under the management of the Ministry of Transportation.

"All airports that are in the development of 10 Bali Bali, or 10 Top Priority Destinations, are projected to become international airports," he concluded.

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