Toba Lake Festival fails to bring in tourists - Tourism Indonesia


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Toba Lake Festival fails to bring in tourists

The scenery of Lake Toba (Pesona Danau Toba/-)
The seventh Toba Lake Festival in Parapat, Simalungun, North Sumatra, failed to attract the targeted number of tourists when the four-day-festival ended on Thursday.
The planning of the festival, which was organized at a cost of Rp 1.4 billion (US$100,260), was regarded as poor, as it was scheduled to run on weekdays and at the same time as school exams.
“How would tourists come to the festival when the event was to run during weekdays and moreover when schoolchildren were concentrating on their exams? If it had been run on a holiday it would have attracted more visitors,” K. Sinaga, 49, a Parapat resident told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
Sinaga also said there was little publicity for the events and that even locals were unaware of the festival.

“We regret that the festival seems to be less known about and lacking in promotion,” he said.
Betty Situmorang, 66, a souvenir seller in Parapat agreed.
“Every year the Toba Lake Festival has been held but we have not enjoyed any benefits. Visitors are very few and we sell almost no souvenirs,” Betty said.
Aminah, a food seller at Toba Lake, said the Solu Bolon, or dragon boat, race had only nine competitors from all over North Sumatra. The Solu Bolon race was supposedly one of the most attractive events in the annual festival. Aminah said that during the festival the number of visitors was similar to that in regular days.

The head of the North Sumatra Cultural and Tourism Agency, Ria Novida Telaumbanua, said her agency had made a maximum effort to ensure the success of this year’s Toba Lake Festival.
She said the timing of the festival was scheduled by the Tourism Ministry and was impossible to change.
“We only follow instructions, the schedule was set by the Tourism Ministry,” Ria said.

Meanwhile, North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi said the event had to be evaluated.
“I want the Toba Lake Festival to be evaluated. I want the number of visitors to the largest lake in Southeast Asia to keep increasing,” Edy said.
Edy wished that the festival would be filled with the excitement and enthusiasm of local people.
“A festival should be crowded. Pick a good place. And we should do the Toba Lake Festival properly. Do not embarrass and play down Toba Lake’s glorious name,” he said. (JakartaPost)

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