"I have reported to Vice President Jusuf Kalla on tourism development in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi. I will invite the World Banks representatives and the district head to discuss the tourism development, and we will form integrated service," Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut said, after a meeting with Kalla, here on Monday.
The senior minister remarked that the government would train human resources for tourism players in South Sulawesi, particularly Tana Toraja, because the area was one of the new destinations in 2017.
In addition to increasing the human resources, the government would also accelerate the development of Buntu Kuni Airport to attract more tourists to visit Tana Toraja.
Hence, the government would develop other infrastructures, such as roads, transport systems, electricity and hotels.
Until January 2017, as many as 182 thousand tourists had visited Tana Toraja.
Kalla earlier 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.
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 1.3 thousand meters suitable for small aircraft, but after the work at the Buntu Kuni airport is completed, its runway will be 2.2 thousand 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 about the tourist arrivals in Tana Toraja reaching 200 thousand in 2017, or a three-fold increase as compared to that in 2016.