Jakarta. One of Indonesia’s ten priority tourist destinations, Lake Toba in North Sumatra, hosted an international cycling event called Gowes Samosir in Tomok, a village in the lake's Samosir Island, on Sunday (19/11) as part of an effort to promote tourism in the region.
Tomok, a tiny village with fresh air and gorgeous views of the lake and its surrounding regions, is already a favorite destination for international visitors.
The regular ferry from the Alibata Parapat Port alights at Tomok and visitors can jump right off the boat into a traditional Batak village to check out a sigale-gale statue, a Batak kings cemetery and the Batak Samosir Museum.
The Tourism Ministry announced on Saturday around 5,000 domestic and international cyclists had registered to join Sunday's event.
The 13.5-kilometer fun ride will start and finish at the Lopo International Tomok Hotel, passing through several tourist spots around Lake Toba, including Liberta, Siallagan and Ambarita.
"This will be an effective promotion for Lake Toba, especially with the recently opened new international airport," the head of Samosir Tourism Agency Ombang Siboro said.
Lake Toba is one of the "Ten New Balis" that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration has been promoting in the past year.
Aside from Lake Toba, the other priority tourist destinations are Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Jakarta's Thousand Islands, Tanjung Kelayang in Bangka Belitung, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park in East Java, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi and Morotai in North Maluku.