A visiting EU delegation has expressed its readiness to support the development of tourism in North Sumatra, especially Lake Toba, which Indonesia aims to promote as the Monaco of Asia.
EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, Vincent Guérend, said Lake Toba, the world’s largest volcanic lake, had huge potential to be further developed to boost the local economy.
“The EU is fully supporting the development of tourism potentials in Toba Lake,” he said during a sustainable tourism development seminar held at the University of North Sumatra in Medan.
Five ambassadors of EU member countries spoke at the seminar — Italian Ambassador Vittorio Sandalli, Hungarian Ambassador Judit Nemeth-Pach, Greek Ambassador Georgios Dogoritis, Austrian Ambassador Helena Steinhaus and Irish Ambassador Kyle O’Sullivan.
The seminar was one of a number of activities held during the EU delegation’s three-day visit, which ended on Friday.
Guérend explained that the EU had created many projects to support the development of tourism in Indonesia. A sustainable tourism development project piloted in Flores, for example, will hopefully be replicated across North Sumatra.
More than 1 million tourists from the EU visit Indonesia every year, which is quite high, Guérend added.
Other projects include the development of locally made (handwoven textiles) tenun in remote areas, forest conservation programs in Mount Leuser National Park and the establishment of an elephant training center in Tangkahan, Langkat regency, North Sumatra.