President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo inspects develepment at Tano Ponggol, Samosir, North Sumatra, during a visit to Lake Toba last year. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Seven Ministries to Develop Tourist Villages Around Lake Toba

BY :DIANA MARISKA

APRIL 16, 2020

Jakarta. Seven ministries will be working together to develop tourist villages around Lake Toba, one of the government's premium tourist destinations. The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said construction works on the villages would kick off in July.

Luhut held a teleconference with the ministries on Wednesday to discuss the project and the responsibilities of each ministry.

The ministries involved will be Tourism and Creative Economy; Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration; Public Works and Housing; Transportation; Education and Culture; Environment and Forestry Affairs and Communication and Information Technology.

"We discussed which ministry will do what, the timetable for the project and the budget. We will start working in July. If that's not possible, we'll postpone it for a month," Luhut said.

He said despite disruptions during the pandemic, ministries and state agencies must maintain close coordination.

According to the original plan, a total of ten tourist villages will be developed around Lake Toba: three in the Humbang Hasundutan district, four in the Toba district and three in the Tapanuli Utara district.

Improving road access, clean water supply and human resources will be the first targets of the development. 

Each of the seven ministries involved in the project will have a specific target to accomplish. 

The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry will have to complete a masterplan for the tourist villages and provide mentoring and training to local communities who will manage the villages.

The Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Ministry will be monitoring the management of the Village Fund.

The Public Works and Housing Ministry will improve road access to the villages. It will also be responsible for managing residential areas, renovating homes to be made into homestays and building waste and wastewater treatment facilities.

The Transportation Ministry will build piers for the Water Bus, which is going to be used to transport tourists. 

The Education and Culture Ministry, the Environment and Forestry Affairs Ministry and the Communication and Information Technology Ministry, along with state-owned enterprises like Pertamina and private companies, will be working with the local government to ensure public aspirations are met.

The government is also determined to preserve cultures and traditions in the area, which are one of its main attractions.  

"That's why we're always on the lookout for young creative potentials who still respect traditions," Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama said at the meeting.

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