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YouTube Creators Share How They Are Reigniting The Passion To Travel In ‘Generasi YouTube’

YouTube Creators

The various tourism roadshows and 2023 budget allocation for the tourism industry are only proof that the sector is well on its way to returning to pre-pandemic levels. Travelers in the Asia-Pacific region are also planning their trips more thoroughly than before, and online video has become a vital resource for them. More notably, travelers turn to YouTube specifically for ideas and information to start their travel journeys, researching everything from different types of holidays to accommodation options and more.

YouTube Malaysia’s latest ‘Generasi YouTube’ panel has rounded up some of the up-and-coming creators who are a source of travel inspiration for people planning their next trip – Muhammad Amir Arsad from the channel Amir Arsad, Muhammad Fikri Mohd Zamri from the channel Fikri ZamRi, Ivor Lim Xian Z from the channel Ivor Xian Z, and Mohamad Khairul Jamain from the channel khairul jamain. In this edition of the panel themed ‘Have YouTube, Will Travel’, these creators shared how they came to find their content niche, point of views and the impact they are currently making through their unique content on YouTube.

YouTube Creators

(From left to right) Mohamad Khairul Jamain; Muhammad Fikri Mohd Zamri; Loh Ben Jern, Head of YouTube Malaysia; Ivor Lim Xian Z and Muhammad Amir Arsad

Amir, 33, was first exposed to the world of traveling when he made his house available for couch-surfing  among travelers when visiting his hometown of Batu Pahat, Johor. That was when he met and got to know other travelers or backpackers and learned about their experiences. 

“My daily work routine as a lawyer is a fixed task and not very challenging for me, that’s why I decided to take a year’s career break before searching for my next job. However after a year of traveling and cycling, I got hooked and planned to explore the world more. At the same time, I also posted videos and photos of my journey on social media platforms to keep as personal memories and show my family and friends. During the pandemic, people were not able to go out and they would cope by watching YouTube videos which led to one of my videos becoming a hit and gaining followers, motivating me to upload more content,” said Amir.

In terms of family support, Amir said it was hard to convince them of his decision to quit his professional career to become a content creator. However, after a stable income from YouTube, his family was convinced and began to support his journey. The income that he has earned from YouTube has not only allowed the Johor-born cyclist to travel more, but he has also opened up a cafe in Terengganu where he currently resides.

The income that Amir earned from YouTube has allowed him to travel more and even start up a small cafe business.

Fikri, 29, previously dabbled in producing visual effects and documentaries before founding his own production company. Working in an advertising agency and production houses in the past has also made Fikri more experienced about the ins and outs of producing videos. Although relatively new as a YouTube content creator, his cinematic travel videos have caught the interest of international brands and hotels to work with him to promote their establishments and destinations.

“At first when MCO started, I decided to go back to my hometown of Kuantan, Pahang. During my time there, I saw my brother who was playing games and streaming on YouTube, and learned that he was getting income from it. As I was also spending time watching travel and tourism content on YouTube, that inspired me  to start uploading my own travel content and when the borders reopened, I packed my bags and started my travel journey,” shared Fikri.

Fast forward to today, Fikri has produced many informative and entertaining travel documentaries to inspire people to explore the world around them. His videos are a hit – so much so that even a small ice-cream stall which was featured in his video had become an attraction to be visited by others. That particular ice-cream seller had also contacted Fikri to thank him for promoting his stall which had helped him to buy his own ice-cream truck. Heartwarming feedback from local small businesses are  motivation for Fikri to produce more content.

Fikri’s channel focuses on honest, high-quality, informative, and entertaining travel documentaries to inspire people to explore the world around them.

After completing her pupillage training, the world went into lockdown and Ivor started learning about video editing, which landed her a job as a content creator for brands. At the same time, Ivor also began creating her own travel content on social media. As she has a natural affinity to trying new  things and experiencing new places, her reviews would often come across as authentic, which in turn stirred an interest in others to try it out for themselves.

“As someone who likes traveling, I started  sharing my travel experiences on YouTube from when I was studying in the UK. But my studies was my priority l back then and I wasn’t as focused on  creating YouTube content. During the lockdown, I could not get a job with any law firm and decided to pick up new skills such as editing videos,” shared Ivor, who was offered a video editor job after one of her YouTube videos went viral.

Now that she’s established herself in the content creation industry, 28-year-old Ivor has also started her e-commerce brand selling skincare. From making its sustainable packaging, sourcing for materials, and building a website – she mostly learned how to do so from YouTube. Aside from creating travel content of her own, she also focuses on creating content for her product brand. She prefers to make short-form content as she finds it a challenge to be consistent with uploading long-form videos, a decision that has turned out surprisingly well now that she’s gotten up to millions of views on YouTube Shorts alone.

YouTube Shorts has helped Ivor to be more consistent in creating content as she is able to spend less time editing videos.

Everyone has experienced traveling differently – from the places they go to the people they meet – even when they visited the same location. Feeling that his four years of backpacking experiences from 2014 were unlike many others, Khairul, 30, then decided to share about it on YouTube. He first started creating travel content for another YouTube channel, but soon after, he shifted his focus to making his own YouTube content in 2019. 

“At that time, YouTube was my preferred platform because it allows me to upload longer videos compared to other social media platforms. Then I began to see my audiences react to my storytelling videos, and eventually built up a fanbase that came to know me as KJ the young backpacker who has traveled to several Asian countries,” he said, adding that the Japanese hold a special place in his heart for their very polite attitude.

Khairul has lived with the poorest communities in Africa, and now that he becomes acquainted with wealthy people for businesses, he realized there was a gap between those communities which he felt he could help bridge. Therefore, wherever he travels, he participates in many volunteering and fund-raising activities to develop communities in need. Traveling, for him, is not about feeling good, but more about what he can learn from others to be shared with Malaysians and finding out what he can do to help develop communities and the current generation.

Aside from sharing about the unique culture that the countries he visited has to offer, Khairul also highlights the social issues he had found.

The success stories of these creators are a testament to their ability to learn from their mistakes and adapt to new challenges, as well as a reminder of YouTube’s ability to give everyone a voice for them to share experiences and knowledge with like-minded people. Head on over to their channels to check out their latest sharings: Amir Arsad, Fikri ZamRi, Ivor Xian Z, and khairul jamain.

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