JAKARTA, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia will speed up infrastructure development to provide hospitality accommodations in North Sumatra's Lake Toba, to make it a world-class destination, an official said Monday.
Speaking at a press conference in Jakarta, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said that the government would assure legality of land used for tourism projects around the lake and open a particular environmental conservancy zone.
The government aims to develop the area into a major contributor in tourism, he said.
A special state agency will also be established to manage the lake and increase fund allocation to finance projects in the destination, he added.
"Our ministry would propose a 50 billion rupiah (about 3.7 million U.S. Dollars) of fund addition to finance the projects there," the minister said.
The government expects Lake Toba to contribute 5 billion U.S. Dollars to the state coffer from tourism sector by 2019, by serving an estimated 1 million foreign visitors by that time.
To popularize the destination, provincial government has set tourism events from May to October this year, showcasing the best of traditional food, cultural performance, sport events and music festivals, a provincial official from North Sumatra added.
Lake Toba, formed from a huge volcanic eruption 75,000 years ago, is the largest lake in Southeast Asia region.
The lake is part of 10 new tour destinations developed by the Indonesian government, which are expected to par with resort island of Bali in attracting foreign visitors.
Indonesia is now taking herculean efforts to build tourism sector since it has been set as the nation's core business. The government has set the target of receiving 20 million foreign visitors, earning more than 24 billion U.S. Dollars by 2019.