By MING TEOH
Known as XTVT (which sounds like “activity”), the app is like a personal travel guide that is easy to use.
Free to download, the app lets you know what landmarks or interesting places – as well as activities you can do – are nearby. As it is a location-based app, it also helps you navigate your way to the desired destination with a realtime map.
Abdul Muizz, the chief executive officer of Malaysian company CiEdge Adventure, said that they started working on the app in January and tested it out in June.
“Currently, the app already has 15,000 downloads within a span of just three months,” he revealed at the official launch of the XTVT app in Kuala Lumpur recently.
With over 700 places and activities in 12 different categories to select from – culture, nature, food, caving, diving, climbing, beach, shopping, museums, galleries, theme parks, parks and trails – users will be spoilt for choice.
“Most tourists from overseas would probably already know about the popular places in KL such as KLCC, Petronas Twin Towers, Batu Caves and KL Tower. But there are many hidden gems and off-the-beaten track places in Malaysia. This is why we decided to build this app – to let folks know of lesser-known attractions that our country has,” Abdul Muizz said.
He added that anyone can submit information on activities and places of interest within the app too. All submissions will be reviewed by a panel first.
“That way, everyone can be a part of this great growing travel community,” Abdul Muizz noted.
“Besides that, you can save your favourite places and activities to share with your travel buddies, as well as book a stay and buy tickets on the app,” he added. XTVT works with tourist attractions, activity providers, homestays and many others to constantly improve the app.
“This is how we can all help to serve the Malaysian tourism industry better and grow the Malaysian economy.”
Plans are in the pipeline to increase the number of places and activities to 1,000 by the end of the year. The app will also have VR capabilities in the future where users can have a 360° preview of a place.
“A lot of the places in Malaysia would have local names that are uncommon to foreigners, thus making it difficult for them to understand the history of a place. The VR experience aims to help them experience it virtually before going to the actual place,” he explained.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik who officiated the launch said that tourism is a key player in the country’s economy, with Malaysia welcoming 13.35 million international tourists and recording a 6.8% growth in tourist receipts and contributing RM41.69bil to the country’s economy in the first half of the year.
Wan Bakthiar expressed his pride in seeing young Malaysians tapping into the tourism market and contributing to its growth.
“Our target for Visit Malaysia 2020 is 30 million international tourist arrivals, and it is great to see young people stepping forward and doing their part for the tourism industry and the country’s economy,” he said.
He added that the current top five trends in travel are solo travel (especially for females), ecotourism, local experiences, bespoke travel and “bleisure” or “business-leisure” travel (extending business travel to include leisure activities).