It was a simple everyday kind-of-a-thing that gave way to Graham Reibelt and his wife Roselyn developing the highly specialised mobile tourism app that just won them Gold at the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards.
Now, four years on, Ask Roz has more than 10,000 users and is a unique and reliable events and attractions app that benefits users and local businesses who log their events.
Available on both Android and iOS, with the ability to be translated into any language, users can search where and when an event is and create an eMag. The eMag feature allows both individual users and businesses to create a digital magazine with interactive itineraries and maps, local information, reward cards, and special offers within just twenty seconds.
“For example, we do a lot with the Fairmont Hotel. They’re able to really quickly log what’s on and produce the eMag for their guests who can, using a QR code, see a beautiful digital presentation of what’s on, bush walks, local food, and get detailed directions on how to get there.
“We have features like the ‘Take Me Home’ button which uses GPS to produce a step-by-step guide on how to get back to the hotel no matter where they are in the Blue Mountains. This works not just for big hotels but for boutiques, bed and breakfasts, and people running Airbnbs” says Graham.
While Graham admits it wasn’t always smooth sailing getting the app off the ground, the effort they’ve put in has certainly paid off. “We haven’t had any bugs or glitches on the app in a few years and that’s taken a lot of hard work – particularly because it’s just the two of us and our external software engineers.”
Graham also puts some of Ask Roz’s success down to the process of applying for the NSW Tourism Awards. “I would encourage anyone in business to bite the bullet and apply. Don’t expect anything but good feedback and you’ll grow. It’s a journey worth going on because it forces you to look at yourself and that’s priceless.
“Your business model will continue to change, so you have to continue to update and the awards process really helps with this” says Graham.
Now, for the life and business partners of Ask Roz, the focus is on continual digital improvements so they can continue to benefit the local tourism community. “We’re excited to continue developing good content and to continue creating competition — that’s really important in the tourism market.
“We’re helping people have a better experience when visiting the Blue Mountains, making people come back, stay longer, and that’s worth a lot to business. If we can enhance just one percent of New South Wales’ stays, that’s worth millions” says Graham.
Ask Roz’s prestigious Gold 2018 Tourism Award will take them through to be judged at the national Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.