Toba (ANTARA) - Nine ports in the National Tourism Strategic Area (KSPN) of Lake Toba are being renovated and, three of them are ready to welcome tourists by the end of 2021 once the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control, an official has said.

Director of Finance, General Affairs, and Public Relations of the Lake Toba Authority Agency (BPODT) Bambang Murdoko said the nine ports are spread across eight districts surrounding Lake Toba.

The renovation of three ports -- Ajibata, Simanindo, and Tigaras -- is complete, while work on the remaining six is targeted to be completed by early 2022, he said, adding that the order to renovate the ports came from the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

The renovation has made Ajibata port look more modern. The port's ticket booking facilities are now offering online as well as cashless payments.

The port also has two passenger motorboats (KMP), Ihan Batak and Toba Caldera, that have met the safety standards of the Ministry of Transportation, Murdoko informed.

Due to the enforcement of Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) to curb COVID-19 cases, the ports have been relatively quiet and are operating only two schedules at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., he explained.

Related news: Eco-friendly capsule hotel in Lake Toba draws tourists

However, he said he is optimistic that once infections are brought under control and vaccinations become more accessible for the public, the ports will be able to serve tourists coming to the Lake Toba area.

"A number of ports that surround Lake Toba are also supervised by the National Search and Relief Agency (Basarnas) to provide more comfort and security to tourists," Murdoko emphasized.

BPODT had earlier establishing an eco-friendly capsule hotel in the Lake Toba area. The hotel was built in accordance with the environmentally friendly Lake Toba development master plan. Through the hotel, the agency aims to draw tourist attention and improve the welfare of the local community.

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Translator: Juraidi, Donny A, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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