Abdul Muizz Mohammad Khuzaini, together with his team of seven people, has developed a free app that helps travellers discover Malaysia like a local.
Known as XTVT (an acronym for “activity”), the location-based app lets users know what events and landmarks are nearby, helping them get to their destination with a real-time map. Abdul Muizz, the CEO of Malaysian company CiEdge Adventure, said they started working on it in January 2019.
“The app already has 15,000 downloads in three months,” he said at its recent launch in Kuala Lumpur. It features over 700 places and events in 12 categories – culture, nature, food, caving, diving, climbing, beach, shopping, museums, galleries, theme parks, parks and trails.
“There are many hidden gems and off-the-beaten track places in Malaysia. This is why we built the app – to let folks know of lesser-known attractions that our country has,” said Abdul Muizz, 31.
The app allows users to send in details of the places and events, and all submissions are moderated before being published. “That way, everyone can be part of this growing travel community,” Abdul Muizz said.
The app also lets users save favourite places and events, share them with other users, and works with various activity providers and homestays to let users buy tickets and book accommodation. “This is how we can serve the industry and grow the economy,” said Abdul Muizz.
There are plans to increase the number of places and events to 1,000 by the end of the 2020, and to include VR (virtual reality) capabilities where users can have a 360° preview of a place.
“A lot of places in Malaysia have local names that are unfamiliar to foreigners, making it harder for them to understand its history. The VR experience aims to help them experience it before going there,” Abdul Muizz said.
Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, who officiated the launch, said Malaysia welcomed 13.35 million tourists and recorded a 6.8% growth in travel receipts in the first half of 2020, contributing RM41.69bil to the economy.
He expressed pride in seeing young Malaysians tap into the market and contribute to its growth. “Our target for Visit Malaysia 2020 is 30 million tourist arrivals, and it's great to see young people stepping forward and doing their part for the industry and the economy,” he said.
He added that the current Top 5 trends in travel are solo travel (especially for women), ecotourism, local experiences, bespoke travel, and “bleisure” or business-leisure travel (extending business travel to include leisure activities).