Taking a virtual trip to your hometown

PETALING JAYA: A website and its mobile app version that offer guides on local excursions and plenty of memorable stories by Malaysians have just made their debut.

Called myhometown.com.my, it is the first of its kind in Malaysia.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, who officially launched the website yesterday, expressed hope that it could help to revive the tourism sector through digital transformation.

“Digital transformation is inevitable in marketing tourism products and services, especially at a time when restrictions on travel is being eased and tourism is seeing a recovery,” she said.

Nancy added that while domestic tourism will not fully fill the shortfall in earnings without the support of international arrivals, it could keep small businesses afloat.

She pointed out that in 2019, domestic tourism drew RM103.2 billion in revenue, an increase of 11.5% over the previous year.

“Recent data indicates that hotels are reporting improved occupancy rates over the past weeks in the historic cities of Malacca and George Town as well as popular beach resorts in the East Coast states of Pahang and Terengganu,” she said.

myhometown.com.my editor Dr Lim Teck Ghee pointed out that a multiracial country such as Malaysia is home to many scenic towns with their distinctive history waiting to be told.

Lim, who is a former professor and World Bank and United Nations senior officer, said the objective is to make the platform a go-to website for travellers.

“It will capture the history, beauty and tranquillity of the nation, to bring nostalgic feelings to readers and for Malaysians to rediscover their roots and where their life journeys began,” he said.

He said it will be easier for tourists to plan their itinerary with the help of myhometown.com.my.

“It offers guides on places to go as well as great stories and history of each state and town. Readers will experience the local culture in this fully immersive platform,” he added.

Lim said visitors to the site will be treated to snippets of each towns’ history, art and culture, their tourist attractions, even the kopitiam and kedai mamak.

“Those who visit the website will feel like embarking on a train journey to their hometown,” he said.

Readers can also catch up on current affairs through a link to theSun news portal and iPaper.

Lim said Malaysians are also encouraged to send photos of their hometowns and to share information about their hidden gems.

“We are looking for collaboration with city councils and we will engage with Kota Baru and Seremban in activities of conservation, heritage management and sustainable development of our towns,” he added.

The website can be reached at www.myhometown.com.my, while the mobile app will be available for download soon.

Read this story in theSun’s iPaper:

Taking a virtual trip to your hometown