Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Virtual Malaysia - Malaysia Tourism Portal

I was preparing a talk last year on Tourism Implications of Longtail Economics when I stumbled on the Virtual Malaysia website. Wow! -- they were doing almost everything that I was going to talk about.

Their website is highly interactive, allowing traveler tales and photo sharing; they provide a wide variety of live tools and tips for travelers; they have a section on mobile pocket travel; and they have even created a separate photography community site within their tourism portal. They have videos, music, and a beautiful 360 degree photo gallery! (Though they do not yet have a podcast.)

From the Community section of VirtualMalaysia.com:

  • Welcome to VM Community page, a place where valued users such as you get to take part in our many interesting features that we have installed especially for you. Share your travel experiences, memorable photos, or send personalised E-cards to friends and family. Join our membership programme and enjoy great discount on hotel stay and special discounted rates off VM merchandise! Tell us about your experiences or send us opinions about our portal in our Guestbook. just a little gesture from all of us as a way to say 'Thank You', we sincerely hope that you each and every visit to our website.

On my last visit to Kuala Lumpur I happened to meet the owner of the Virtual Malaysia, and learned that they have received numerous travel industry awards for online innovations. They clearly represent a likely model for a Web 2.0 destination portal, and I expect that many others will be copying them as time goes by. (VirtualMalaysia.com is not associated with any of the government tourism authorities in Malaysia.)

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