Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla chaired a limited meeting at his office here on Monday to discuss the development of tourism in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, South Sulawesi Regional Secretary Abdul Latief, Tana Toraja District Head Nicodemus Biringkanae, and North Toraja District Head Kalatiku Paembonan attended the limited meeting.

Minister Panjaitan stated that one of the main topics of discussion at the limited meeting was the progress on the work at the Buntu Kuni airport in Tana Toraja, projected for completion in 2017.

The Pongtiku airport in Tana Toraja has a runway measuring 1,300 meters suitable for small aircraft, but after the work at the Buntu Kuni airport is completed, its runway will be 2,200 meters in length to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft, such as Boeing.

Panjaitan said the 1.7 trillion funds from the state budget will soon be disbursed for the completion of the work at the Buntu Kuni airport to increase the number of tourist arrivals in Tana Toraja.

According to the minister, the government is optimistic of tourist arrivals in Tana Toraja reaching 200 thousand in 2017, or a three-fold increase as compared to that in 2016.

Until Jan 2017, as many as 182,000 tourists had visited Tana Toraja, and the figure is believed to show a steady rise following the completion of the work at the Buntu Kuni airport.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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