Garuda supports Lake Toba tourism with new flight
March 18, 2016
Published on Mar 18, 2016
New service to Silangit Airport forms part of plan to boost tourism at Sumatran scenic spot
The Indonesian government's plans to develop tourism in Lake Toba have been boosted by Garuda Indonesia's decision to launch a new flight to the Sumatran scenic spot.
The Jakarta Post reports that the national carrier will commence a new route from Jakarta to Silangit Airport on March 22, marking the first connection from the Indonesian capital to Lake Toba. Flights will be operate three times a week using a 96-seat Bombardier aircraft, and will initially include a stop in Sibolga, North Sumatra.
Lake Toba is one of 10 "new" tourism destinations the Indonesian government is planning to develop in the coming years, as it bid to double its tourist arrivals to 20 million by the end of the decade.
Extensive infrastructure improvements are being planned in the area, including new roads and tourist facilities. Silangit Airport will also be expanded to allow it to handle larger aircraft such as the Airbus A320 or Boeing 737.
"I am sure that in the next three to six months, there will gradually be more investment to develop the Silangit Airport runways to serve large-body aircraft," the Jakarta Post quoted Indonesia's President Joko Widodo as saying recently.
With 400km of shoreline, Toba is Indonesia's biggest lake and the largest volcanic crater lake in the world. Under its development plans, the Indonesian government is aiming to attract 15m annual domestic visitors and one million international tourists to the lake by 2019.
Garuda will become the third airline flying to Silangit Airport. Susi Air currently offers regional connections from cities including Medan, Dumai and Sibolga, while Wings Air operates services from Batam.
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