North Sumatra Sees 12% Hike in Tourist Visits

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • The view of the western part of Lake Toba. TEMPO | Iil Askar Mondza

    The view of the western part of Lake Toba. TEMPO | Iil Askar Mondza

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The number of foreign tourist arrivals to North Sumatra in the first semester of 2019 was recorded at 122,300 people. The figure shows a 12.18-percent growth compared to the first half of last year.

    "There are reports of foreign tourist arrivals that increased until August, although not as expected," Sholahuddin, chairman of the Indonesian Travel Association (Asita) North Sumatera branch, said in Medan, Monday, August 26.

    He said Lake Toba's status as a priority tourist destination has not had a direct positive impact in 2019.

    "It needs continued encouragement so that the number of foreign tourists rises significantly," Sholahuddin said.

    Meanwhile, head of North Sumatra's Central Statistics Agency (BPS) Syech Suhaimi said that data shows how foreign tourist visits are still driven by visitors from ASEAN members. Malaysia is still the largest contributor of foreign tourists with 55,813 people visiting in semester one, followed by Singapore with 7,577 tourists.

    "Despite the decline in arrivals from both countries in the first semester, they are still the largest suppliers of travelers to North Sumatra," Syech said.

    Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said earlier this month that the acceleration of Lake Toba development requires of up to Rp1 trillion in funds—not just from the state budget, but also private investors.

    ANTARA | EKO WAHYUDI