View of Lake Toba from one resort named Simalem; Samosir island seen in the distance to the right. (Photo: AH)

View of Lake Toba from one resort named Simalem; Samosir island seen in the distance to the right. (Photo: AH)

Jakarta, ( ITN – IndonesiaTouristNews ): Tourism Minister Arief Yahya reported on the evaluation of achievement in Indonesia’s tourism sector in 2017 and the flagship tourism program for 2018. Summary of performance by the Ministry of Tourism in 2017 among others include the followings:

The contribution of tourism to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2017 is targeted at 5%, reaching 5%, which means that the target has been achieved at 100%.

The value of foreign exchange earnings from tourism in 2017 is targeted to be equivalent to Rp 200 Trillion, which is reached Rp 203 Trillion. That means achieving 101% of the target.

Indonesia’s tourism competitiveness index according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) is targeted at rank 40, it is achieved at rank 42.

The number of visits by foreign tourists in 2017 is targeted at 15 million visits, but that will be achieved projected at 13.7 million visits, which means the achievement of 2017 is only 91.33% of the target.

The number of Domestic Tourist Travels, targeted for 265 million trips, is projected to reach 277 million trips, that is equal to 104% of the target.

Minister Arief Yahya described the report at a meeting between several Ministers under the Coordinating Minister for the Ministry of Marine Affairs in Jakarta last week.

The Minister explained one example of how the social economic impact experienced in the form of Local Government Revenue in Samosir District which rose 81% after Lake Toba Tourism being developed. Samosir regency is on the island on the center of Lake Toba, one of the main tourist destinations in Indonesia, located in the province of North Sumatra.

In the area of Lake Toba there is now an international airport called Silangit which is connected with Singapore by charter flight and it is expected to become a regular scheduled flight.

Tourists to Lake Toba until now mostly come through Kuala Namu airport, Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, which many airlines have linked with Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. From Kuala Namu driving to Lake Toba takes about five hours drive. In the daytime, tourists usually make a stop over at the tourist spot Berastagi, a small town in the cool hills, about two hours from the city of Medan. ***