Apriadi Gunawan, Toba, North Sumatra – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called for greater improvement to the tourist facilities at Lake Toba in North Sumatra, after observing their subpar quality during the Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship over the weekend.
Jokowi said that the shortcomings were visible only when big events were held. "The roads are not big enough, the airport terminal, the aprons are not big enough," Jokowi said on Sunday at the lake in Toba regency.
The President also said he expected the regions that held big events to build their brands on their own. "We have the F1 PowerBoat at Lake Toba, the MotoGP in Mandalika, the Formula E in Jakarta. These will boost the local economy," he said.
At the end of 2022, the government announced a plan to disburse an additional budget of Rp 15 trillion (US$963 million) to develop five priority tourism destinations over the next two years.
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said in December that with additional budget, the government aimed to complete its development projects in the tourist destinations of Lake Toba, Borobudur in Central Java, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara and Likupang in North Sulawesi.
The minister also pledged to focus on reviving the country's pandemic-stricken tourism industry.
Sandiaga has been developing the nation's five "super priority" tourist destinations, also called the "five new Balis", at Jokowi's behest.
The Tourism Ministry has a target to spur visits from 1.2-1.4 million domestic tourists this year by holding more events, with the minister estimating that the tourism and the creative economy would create 4.4 million jobs.