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Entrepreneur Bart Sobies. Entrepreneur Bart Sobies. Featured
21 May 2020 Posted by 


Stay Local Australia a tourist boost
A NEW Aussie booking app is set to become a major player in the bounce back of our nation’s devastated tourist industry.

And the app called Stay Local Australia aims to become the “go to” booking site for millions of travellers as the country returns to normal and takes a well-earned holiday.

In doing so, it will be taking on the multinational booking companies that scoop huge profits out of Australia and dump them straight into overseas accounts.

Stay Local Australia is the brainchild of Bart Sobies who has been a leading light in our tourist industry for more than 20 years.

It is estimated 441,000 jobs have been lost in Australia in the accommodation and restaurant industries in a heartbreaking three months since the COVID-19 pandemic struck home.

A revolutionary tech startup company, Stay Local Australia, will launch the innovative app at the end of May to support local accommodation businesses impacted by bushfires and the pandemic.

With isolation set to ease in different states, Stay Local Australia wants to encourage local travellers to support local accommodation providers that have had it tough over the past six months.

Mr Sobies said the app was created in response to the 441,000 jobs lost across the restaurant and accommodation space.

“The ABS reported last week that 84% of accommodation and food services businesses reported reduced demand for goods and services,” Mr Sobies said.

“The accommodation industry has been hit incredibly hard, first by bushfires and then by COVID-19 closures” he said.

The startup also wants to see accommodation businesses receiving direct bookings, rather than losing fees and much-needed revenue to major booking sites, particularly after the ravaging of COVID-19.

“The mission driving #StayLocalAustralia, is to support these local businesses by giving them direct bookings and exposure to local travelers after a time of major downturn. ”

Mr Sobies said many accommodation bookings had decreased dramatically or disappeared and with international travel unlikely, businesses would be relying on the support of locals to get back on their feet.

Stay Local Australia will link these two groups, passing on savings to hosts of up to 60% of the fees associated with a traditional online booking service. ” he said.

“The accommodation market is dominated by a few big Online Travel Agent’s (OTA’s) who take a clip of up to 15% of the transaction. This puts a lot of pressure on an industry that is already struggling.

“The industry has been crying out for a big Australian owned, Online Travel Agent, to compete with the internationals, this is why we are doing it.”

Mr Sobies said many travellers were not aware that many OTAs were owned internationally, with headquarters outside of Australia.

"Unfortunately, this means that Australians cannot be sure that the fees they pay stay in the country or support local business," he said.

“Tourism Australia has been on the front foot supporting the industry with ‘Live from Aus’ showcasing the best Australia has to offer. With Australia home to some of the best tourism spots in the world, there has never been a better time to visit your own backyard.

“We expect travel to pick up but it will be slow and gradual, so we want to make sure that every dollar that goes into local travel goes to local business and supports them in scaling back up to full capacity. Accommodation providers have told us that they are willing to give back by offering deals and promotions for locals.” 

Guests and hosts can support Stay Local Australia here www.staylocalaustralia.com



Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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