Subang Jaya, 22 August 2013 – Creative Advances Technology Sdn Bhd (CAT) today announced the official release of the new VirtualMalaysia.com with interactive and user-generated content to showcase Malaysia as a travel destination and Malaysia’s many attractions. The new VirtualMalaysia.com portal went live on 1 August 2013.
In a briefing to media and travel bloggers, CAT took the opportunity to demonstrate how the revitalised VirtualMalaysia.com can offer more interactive and up-to-date information to online visitors about Malaysia via transparent user reviews.
Tuan Haji Hamzah Rahmat, President of Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) lauded the change in VirtualMalaysia.com by CAT as timely as more travel websites harness social-media energy and the ‘wisdom of crowds’ to improve traveller’s experience.
“Today’s travellers are quite a different breed,” said Tuan Haji Hamzah. “They are better informed as they do research of destinations before visiting. They are also more adventurous and would read up other travellers’ writings or blogs and visit more off-beat locales. The user-generated contents featured on new VirtualMalaysia.com will resonate better with these travellers as the reviews or write-ups come directly from travellers themselves.”
From Left to Right: Travel bloggers - Ruzaimy Sany; Normala Abd. Rahman; Mohd. Azrul Ruzali; Joanna Liao, Chief Marketing Officer of Creative Advances Technology Sdn Bhd; Dato’ Shamsul Falak B. Tan Sri Kadir, President of Kuala Lumpur Tourism Association; Rohizam Md Yusoff, Founder & CEO of VirtualMalaysia.com; Shaharuddin M Saaid, Executive Director of Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners; Tuan Haji Hamzah Rahmat, President of Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA); Leeanne Lee (Travel blogger).
VirtualMalaysia.com has come a long way. It was first developed in 1997 and launched by CAT in 1999. In 2006, it was recognized by Tourism Malaysia as the official e-tourism portal for Malaysia. The website was considered advanced then as it was the first multimedia travel portal in Malaysia with streaming videos and hosted 500,000 images covering virtually every travel destination in Malaysia. Today, many industry players still regard it as a strong brand. The healthy site traffic of more than 3,000 visitors per day is testament of VirtualMalaysia.com’s strong following.
Joanna Liao, Chief Marketing Officer of CAT, explained the concept behind the user-generated content, “Just like TripAdvisor, travellers get reviews from actual visitors or bloggers who have actually been to the destinations, be it a tourist attraction, hotel or good place to eat. We have seen online user-generated reviews getting more traffic as they are more believable. In addition, other users can also share or give comments on the content”.
“To summarize, we are now in the position to generate benefits for all parties involved in VirtualMalaysia.com - from content creators to content users. Even travel industry players and tourist attractions will benefit as these establishments that are reviewed can get stronger exposure and real-time feedback from the market,” said Rohizam.
“I am confident we are on the right track in bringing about these changes in VirtualMalaysia.com. We are hopeful that this new social travel portal can help direct more travellers to Malaysia especially with the upcoming Visit Malaysia Year 2014,” he ended.
In conjunction with the unveiling, CAT is also launching the Merdeka Deals campaign on 29 August 2013. The campaign offering local destinations’ travel deals and hotel packages will be promoted on VirtualMalaysia.com and will run until 7 September 2013. More details will be available on VirtualMalaysia.com