Tourism drives new app development in South Africa

Awesome South Africa mobile appSouth Africa’s natural beauty, sunny climate, cultural diversity and reputation for delivering value for money have made it one of the world’s fastest growing travel destinations. This fact has been noted by local tech start-ups who are building new travel apps to cater for this expanding tourist market.’s Zimkhitha Sulelo caught up with Brandon Wilson the founder of Awesome South Africa, a mobile based app that allows users to book using mobile giving users access to events and current promotions around their chosen destination to find out about his latest creation.

What is Awesome South Africa all about?
“Awesome South Africa mobile app allows SME’s such as suppliers and vendors within varied categories to broadcast quick fired adverts to customers/users on this free location based app. The app allows vendors to display information, rates and other details to potential customers” explains Wilson.

What inspired you to develop the app and what were the challenges?
“I was inspired by the last soccer world cup we hosted in 2010” says Wilson. I looked at the number of people coming to our country at the time. I wanted to make sure locals and smaller businesses would be discovered by the “world” coming to South Africa at the time. It just made sense to me to help bridge the gap between SME’s and of course for our locals and growing brand South Africa mobile apps was the way to be discovered quickly and swiftly.

The user of app can enquire hassle free from any 3rd was playing and see what’s on offer locally. The whole idea was for those who awesomeSAscreendo not have huge marketing budgets to be given a chance to be seen at any time by anyone who uses the app. The challenges for us and still is marketing this concept and “selling” it to all potential vendors out there and acquiring an in house sales team to make the calls and chat about what mobile apps can do and how beneficial it is in today’s market and the relevancy thereof.

Inexpensive Android technology
One only needs to view and see how inexpensive Android technology alone is becoming a mere 2nd information , web and apps in one go. The global movement of app technology is on the increase and it’s vital that we educate and allow SME’s to showcase themselves quicker through this platform.

How does the app work and on which platforms?
The app works to help SME’s (Supplier/Vendors) broadcast any adverts it wishes the public to see. So what we have is simple, the Vendor gets a Username and Password to log into on the Awesome South Africa (Website) – from here on there are a few boxes to populate such as Information, Services, Rates ,Contact etc and of course the Advert box for promotions.Once the vendor clicks on submit in real time that then displays on the app immediately. It’s that simple!

What are your future plans for the app?
Future plans are to expand onto Windows and Blackberry platforms, especially Windows platform that’s now growing steadily explains Wilson. Next we would like to place notification alerts on the app as well for users.

Focus on finding a great idea first
“Stay grinding, plan properly, get the right advice and make sure you can execute” explains Wilson. There are varied ways of monetising apps he adds , but any app that helps consumers generally can be monetised, all it takes is a really good idea and backing of the idea. It can be challenging to market apps, but when it’s done right people spread the word quickly and viral takes over. Start-ups therefore need to focus on finding a great idea first and then work on executing it well.

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