AroundAbout: the new travel app
Alicia Moo | On 07, May 2015
For the travel savvy among you, for the girls and boys in love with adventure and for all those caught up in wanderlust today is a good day. Or if you are just really into apps, this is also for you. Introducing AroundAbout the new kid on the block who is set to wow your socks off. I sat down with the Founder/CEO Mitch Hills and the Vice President Jose Bishop to find out more about this travel app out today!
CD: Where did the idea of Around About come from?
MH: I originally had another idea for a tourism app which was like an ‘all-in-one’ travel app. I flew to Melbourne to meet with Appster (my developers) and after a full day of a consulting we realised it wouldn’t work and the idea tanked! So, we pivoted. I wanted to make something that was different from all the other usual travel apps. TripAdvisor, Expedia, etc. They are great apps, but they are all really similar and essentially they are just large databases of information. I wanted to innovate travel, to create a game changing app by looking at it from a different angle, to make it more fun. Appster and I worked together towards this goal, and behold! AroundAbout was born.
CD: What is the Around About app all about?
MH: AroundAbout is about being spontaneous and doing more. We surveyed people aged 18 – 35 with travel experience and a huge 86.7% said that whilst travelling they had wasted time not knowing what to do! We want people to stop reading about it, stop thinking about it, just go and DO IT! Travel is one of the absolute greatest things in life, so don’t waste any of it! Be spontaneous, find new places, meet new people, explore, have fun. Just get out there. It’s what life is about.
MH: We are targeting tourists aged 18 – 35, although anybody can use it. It really is a lot of fun. Whether you’ve got no idea at all what’s out there, or you need to make up your mind about what to do, AroundAbout will fix that problem!
CD: How would you describe the app in a sentence?
MH: AroundAbout is a random activity generator to help tourists that don’t know what they want to do. We help by giving them limitless suggestions on thinks to eat, drink and do. We are all about spontaneity and exploration.I believe that this is the most innovative and exciting new travel app on the market.
CD: What sets this app apart from any other travel app?
MH: I love being asked this question! Whilst there are a tonne of travel apps that offer great information, there’s just SO MUCH information. Foursquare, TripAdvisor, Yelp etc… It’s great when searching for something specific but if you’re trying to pick something to do, how do you choose when there’s tens of thousands of things in front of you? Not only is this boring, essentially it also means you end up wasting more time reading about it. This is why AroundAbout is different. We want you to get out there NOW. Who knows where you will end up? That’s part of the excitement!!!
Not only is it different because it’s random and exciting, it’s not just an activity generator. It’s a way of life. Using this app will lead you to see and do things that you never would have done without it. You’ll discover more than you ever could reading about things. You’ll meet people you’ll remember forever and create unique experiences that you will cherish.
CD: What is your background?
MH: For the past three years I have worked as a professional DJ, playing 5 nights a week in a variety of Brisbane nightclubs. When I finished high school I started a business called POGO Entertainment which I ran for over two years before selling it in 2014. I was also the Entertainment Coordinator at Hot Gossip Nightclub for 2 years up until last month when I resigned to work on the app. I still DJ at the moment at nights whilst running AroundAbout during the day time.
CD: What advice would you give to others looking to venture down this track?
MH: I could say so much here so I think I’ll have to just give one tip! With any business idea you have, just get started. You will learn along the way. Don’t worry about having a huge 50 page business plan…you don’t need it yet. Richard Branson once said ‘It’s better to do something imperfectly than nothing perfectly’. Also, keep an open mind, you will encounter problems along the way but by solving those problems you end up with a better product and you learn more. Oh and DO NOT BE AFRAID TO FAIL! Keep pushing!
CD: When will the app be available and how much will it cost?
The app will be available on iOS on May 7th [today folks!], and Android is about 7 to 10 weeks away.
As a result of some investor interest and strategic partnerships we have been able to fast track our progress by nearly 12 months, meaning Android is on it’s way!
It is FREE!!!!! There’s no reason why you wouldn’t download it, we just want people to love it. And I know they will. We don’t even have those annoying pop up ads!!! There is a paid version for $1.29 which gets you some awesome additional features, but the standard app is free on both iPhone and Android.
Vice President, Jose Bishop knows a thing or two about the wild open road, touring with Cirque Du Soleil.
JB: For as long as I can remember, my life has consisted of a 23kg suitcase, guitar, surfboard, a tour plan and a group of exceptional people. Every 4-6 weeks we would pack up our lives under the Big Top, then fly/drive/ride to the next city. We sporadically explored around the Oceania, Europe, Asia and North, Central and South America. During this time I was surrounded by an international collection of world champion acrobats, circus performers, dancers, actors and technicians. Due to this life I was exposed to the many of the different cultures of the world, the necessity of hard work and-of course- how to enjoy, headfirst, all the adventures in the life . There is no room for second guessing in a layout 360. As my CEO says â€œjust go and do it!”
CD: Why did you want to get involved in such a project?
JB: Last year I returned to Australia to start a new life with all these lessons in my metaphorical suitcase. Very quickly I realised many young and old Australians could gain from traveling in a more adventurous and real way. Today I find myself fortunate enough to be in the position to be able to pass on these lessons. Here comes Around About. Our hope is this app will allow people to explore cities and really experience as much as possible. To be able to have spontaneous adventures and see the world in a new way. With an app I wish had been around 10 years ago!
CD: What do you hope this app with achieve?
JB: I have been very fortunate in my life to be able to see so much of this world and experience so much that it has to offer. Now I hope we are able to pass this on and inspire other people to go and experience the same. Because, with Around About in your pocket, who knows where your trip will take you. Be Spontaneous. Do More!