Local Robe app developer Geoff Dening up for award

Local Robe Bed and Breakfast owner and app developer Geoff Dening has been recognised for his SA tourism app and website with an award nomination.

Mr Dening received a nomination for the 'Minister for Innovation and Skills Small Business Award' this month in the South Australian Community Achievement Awards, recognising how Mr Dening's combination of developed apps and websites has evolved into an app ecosystem centering around his website 'Goingtoplaces.com.'

The series of apps found through the website aim to provide a guide to SA's visitors, directing them to businesses and tourist attractions within a range of areas throughout the state.

Mr Dening's first application endeavours were based around Robe, beginning in 2016, with his first app directing Robe's visitors to local businesses and tourist attractions around town.

Local businesses subscribed to be listed during the first month, paying for Mr Dening's further app developments, including the development of four regional applications.

Mr Dening's innovations have expanded from there to other areas of SA and Victoria, with his apps including collated information based around the Great Ocean Road, Kangaroo Island, Barossa Valley and Limestone Coast regions, providing users with information directing them to local goods and services as well as a range of places to visit during one's stay.

Mr Dening explained where it all started, as he was able to pick up on what was becoming popular with guests at his own bed and breakfast by observing how they were finding information on places they were planning to visit while travelling around the state.

"Most of them were 20 to 30 years old, and they weren't using the brochures that I had here - instead they were using their apps on their tablets and phones, planning for the following day."

It was from there that Mr Dening found that apps and websites based around tourism were receiving the most traffic and were easier and more cost efficient to update as opposed to brochures and pamphlets.

Mr Dening has been able to network with other countries recently and share his ideas after being invited by Austrade to submit his app ecosystem for consideration to be presented to Australia's trading partners.

It was approved, with Mr Dening being invited to present at the ASEAN Tech Challenge in Sydney in December last year, impressing investors from the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.

"That was a surprise because I didn't have an Asian product ready at that stage," Mr Dening. "That was a great trip to Sydney and I am still in contact with the Malaysian tech investment branch of Air Asia."