President Joko Widodo has ordered to bring a “spike” of tourism by promoting Lake Toba even harder, especially after the status of Silangit Airport has reached international level so that the airport is set to be the main gateway of the tourist destinations of Lake Toba and its surrounding by air.
To achieve the status of the international airport, Silangit Airport has undergone a thorough change and overhaul of its facilities. The terminal now has enough to handle one million passengers per year. The runway has been expanded to 2,650 meters and 45m wide from 2,400m x 30m before, with this new airport size allowing to accommodate larger aircraft, such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-800.
“Around 74,000 years ago, a giant volcanic explosion took place in Lake Toba that has affected the whole world, and now we are creating a new explosion in the world of tourism by opening the gateway to the beautiful and culturally rich Toba and Batak tribes, which are now wide open , “said President at the inauguration of new terminal Silangit International Airport in Silangit, Siborong-borong, North Tapanuli, North Sumatra Province.
With a capacity to serve 500 thousand passengers annually, Silangit Airport has custom facilities, immigration and quarantine facilities; a runway measuring 2,650 meters and 50 meters wide; and PCN is able to accommodate Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-800. Designed to be a smart airport, it also has free Wi-Fi, scheduled flight and bus displays, e-payment, bus ticketing machines, tourist information booths, self check-in facilities and some other digital features.
In addition to the construction of the Silangit airport to boost the government’s tourist visits, it has also conducted tourism promotion activities in Hong Kong, China, India and Taiwan to attract tourists from these countries here. Tourists can already land at Silangit either by plane or chartered aircraft, “
The President expressed his belief that the tourism industry will help improve the welfare of the Batak community. Lake Toba, Southeast Asia’s largest lake, is located in the province of North Sumatra. Living around the lake are the sub-ethnic groups of Batak Toba, Simalungun, Karo, and Pakpak.
The lake is 900 meters above sea level, 450 meters in size, and has an area of 1,145 square kilometers. Located in the middle of the lake is Samosir Island, measuring 627 square kilometers wide. Can be reached within an hour by boat from Parapat, the main town on the shores of the lake. Tourist attractions on the island include the village of Tomok, where tourists can see some burial of old stone King Toba, Tuktuk Village, which is a good tourist resort and cheap on the shore of the lake. In the northern part of the lake there is a beautiful waterfall, called Sipiso-piso. The lake water goes down to the sea through the Asahan River. Halfway to the sea, the water had previously passed Asahan waterfall, but the waterfall has been utilized to power plants with a capacity of 600 megawatts.
Every year, the city of Parapat hosts the Lake Toba Festival and displays various cultural arts performances from all ethnic groups of the province. And many other activities are scheduled to enliven the world of tourism Lake Toba.