Wulung Damardoto

Once established and prioritized as one of the top 10 destinations and entered as Tourism Strategic Area (KSPN) by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2015, tourism at Lake Toba increasingly evolved. In this case, the central government persistence has proven by several steps, one of which is the forming of Badan Otoritas Pariwisata Danau Toba (Lake Toba Tourism Authority Agency) which has officially been working since 2016.

The authority agency has a significant duty and responsibility to achieve the development of tourism at Lake Toba in particular. They oversee the construction of infrastructures (highways, lake docks, airports, destination rehabilitation, communication networks, etc.), and ensuring Toba Caldera Geopark becomes one of the worlds sanctioned Geopark.

Without hesitation, the Ministry of Tourism is targeting 1 million tourists visit at Lake Toba in the year 2019. A looming target indeed, considering only 180,000 tourists recorded visiting the lake in 2014. Once again the government was not making empty promises with the inauguration of Silangit Airport located in Siborongborong, North Tapanuli regency by President Jokowi on November 24, 2017, to achieve the target.

The existence of Silangit Airport is undoubtedly welcomed by the surrounding community, as a gateway to enter Lake Toba tourism area. Previously, most visitors can only come through the city of Medan and travel for approximately 5 hours to the town of Prapat. With the presence of Silangit Airport, in just a matter of minutes, the lake would be reached. Besides that, the development of other tourism potentials by other districts surrounding Lake Toba is noticeable.  Whereby, only Samosir and Simalungun districts perceived its tourism potentials previously.

Silangit Airport has received its inauguration of international airport status by the President of Indonesia since 27 October 2017, Garuda Indonesia (GA 8506) flight with the Singapore-Silangit route went well and proved that Silangit Airport’s vital role for Lake Toba tourism advancement is very significant.

By Wulung Damardoto

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