panorama destination

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Indonesian Sports Tourism Goes Up a Gear With F1H20
04 March 2023 | Written by Chris Alexander

Sports tourism in Indonesia is ready to go full throttle in 2023, with a number of major international events scheduled for the months ahead. The first of these was held in Sumatra last month, with the F1 Powerboat World Championship (F1H2O) at Lake Toba. Held from 24-26 February, the F1H2O is the world’s biggest powerboat championship, on a par with premier motor racing events like Formula 1 or MotoGP.

The competition attracted almost 25,000 visitors from around the world, who enjoyed a weekend of racing in a spectacular location; Lake Toba and the nearby town of Balige in North Sumatra were filled with race enthusiasts and holidaymakers. The event proved to be a big success for organisers, who – through collaboration with various government ministries – achieved a major logistical feat.

“The KMP (Passenger Motorboat) operates in Lake Toba and is ready to serve tourists,” explained Hendro Sugiatno, who is Indonesia’s Director General of Land Transportation at the Ministry of Transportation. “There are five supporting ships, such as KMP Asa-Asa, KMP Jurung-Jurung, KMP Kaldera Toba, KMP Pora-Pora, and KMP Ihan Batak,” he added.

In addition, the Communication and Informatics Ministry (Kominfo) also made sure that tourists could enjoy reliable internet and telecommunications connectivity during the F1H2O, in a tech-friendly setup that was similar to the 2022 MotoGP event held at the Mandalika circuit in Lombok.

“Kominfo has coordinated with cellular operators, such as Telkom and Telkomsel and others, so that communication during the F1 Powerboat is smooth,” said Usman Kansong, who is Kominfo’s Director General of Information and Public Communication.

The previous F1 Powerboat event was held in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates on 16 December, 2022. Many in attendance at Lake Toba commented that the cooler climate of the Sumatran highlands made the occasion more enjoyable.

Following the event, many race goers opted to extend their stay at Lake Toba and explore the surrounding landscape. The Toba area includes various natural and cultural attractions, such as Tarabunga Hill, Sipiso Piso waterfall and Parapat Island.

For an in-depth look at Lake Toba and the many fascinating attractions on offer in this location, read our Travel With Us blog from North Sumatra.