Interactive travel app, Sarawak Travel Portal and App updated with VR, AR

Abdul Karim (fifth right) and others in photo-call at the event today (Dec 6, 2022).

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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, Dec 6: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) fully embracing the digitalisation of the tourism sector, today launched the new and improved Sarawak Travel Portal and App to promote tourist attractions and tourism products across the State.

The app has been improved and outfitted with cutting-edge technology including Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) components.

According to Sarawak Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts (MTCP) Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, creating a quality end-to-end experience for tourists was important to improve travellers’ engagement with Sarawak.

“We are going to the next evolution in promoting Sarawak and its tourism products, and that is the merging of the Sarawak Tourism website with the Sarawak Travel Portal and App to create a seamless online experience for prospective travellers.

“Now as the improved travel portal and app is equipped with cutting-edge technology such as the VR and the AR components, users get total control over what they can see of Sarawak’s Culture, Adventure, Nature, Food, and Festival (CANFF) offerings and experience Sarawak through a 360-degree view,” Abdul Karim said today at the ‘Sarawak Tourism’s Next Gen Digital Platform’ event held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).

Meanwhile, according to a press release issued by STB, the Sarawak Travel Portal and App has undergone continuous development and upgrades since its initial launch in Feb 2020, including four new content modules, namely Scenic Sites, National Parks and Nature Reserves, Food Trails, and an interactive game module.

With a total of five modules, the upgraded website and app offers fun and engaging digital solutions for visitors who want to stay in Sarawak, with Modules 1–4 allowing users to take virtual tours of Sarawak’s tourism destinations with detailed information related to Old Kuching Heritage Sites, Scenic Sites, National Parks, and Food Trails that feature 3D models of iconic destinations such as Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV), the Mulu National Park and many more.

Through GPS technology, users also get to try out Module 5 which has a geo-location game feature as a fun way to visit various Sarawak tourism attractions, such as the Kuching Waterfront, the Chinese History Museum or the Brooke Gallery, while accepting challenges from the game and collecting badges to unlock various achievements.

Another featured highlight about the Sarawak Travel app is its geofencing capabilities to inform users not only on what tourist attractions that are nearby, but also is able to digitally emulate a physical tour guide by providing background info as well as details on significance of the attraction and products, and also give directions on how to get there.

The Sarawak government continued its digital initiatives for the tourism sector by launching the “Sarawak Road Trip: Self Drive Travel Guide” on Dec 3, 2022 in Kuching and on Dec 10, 2022 in Miri. The guide allows visitors travelling by road to download the specified Google Map route into their smartphone via a QR code for easy navigation from one tourist attraction to another.

According to recent data by Statista, there will be an estimated 1.7 billion mobile AR user devices worldwide in 2024, an increase of 1.5 billion from the 200 million seen in 2015.

The Sarawak Travel app is now available for download on Google Play Store and Apple Store.

The digital platform is a collaborative effort between MTCP, Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), STB, and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) to provide a next-generation website and smart device application to provide an added-value experience for travellers in Sarawak.

Also present at the event were MTCP permanent secretary Datu Hii Chang Kee, STB chairman Dennis Ngau, and STB chief executive officer (CEO) Sharzede Salleh Askor. — DayakDaily