A fairer deal to access deals
Rebekah Carter’s website startup Try Local has been live for a couple of months. Encouraged by the amount of interest in the concept, she’s working hard to build awareness.
Rebekah Carter’s new website startup Try Local has been live for a couple of months. Encouraged by the amount of interest in the concept initially, she’s now working hard to get the word out there.
Try Local is a user-friendly tool for operators of accommodation, activities and eateries to market their offers and specials without paying hefty commissions. The focus is on putting interested parties and buyers in direct contact with operators.
NZBusiness caught up with Rebekah recently to see how things are progressing.
“It’s going really well. I’ve had a lot of interest from all over the country. There’s been great support from some of the more recognised, bigger brands but equally from locally owned, family style businesses. I have talked to a huge amount of operators and heard some heart warming, as well as heart-breaking, stories.
“Things are still tough for many in the industry, despite the current emphasis on supporting local. Particularly for smaller operators. Many offer great value products and run special offers to attract customers but can’t afford to heavily discount their prices, pay hefty fees to booking agents or have stringent conditions placed on them.
“They are really keen to deal direct with customers and I am rapt to be able to give them a voice.”
Rebekah says the market is pretty cluttered at the moment with everyone scrambling for a share of the domestic tourism spend.
“I can’t see international tourists returning anytime soon so the emphasis will continue to be on encouraging Kiwis to visit and explore regional destinations – all of whom are vying for business.”
So why does Try Local only post deals, promotions and special offers and only in the tourism and hospitality space?
“It’s part of our psyche,” explains Rebekah. “Most Kiwis are keen to try something different and if there’s a bit of a bargain to be had, all the better. And there are plenty of options to suit all budgets. It is great for operators as they don’t have to discount their product if they don’t want to – it can be a package or promotion too.
“It’s been proven that accessing a good deal means you are more likely to spend on additional things like food & beverage, an extra night’s accommodation or an extra activity. In fact, one of the things that led me to develop Try Local was just that – I was looking for local deals and inspiration for some places I wanted to visit and realised how arduous it was searching multiple sites to discover who was offering what. So I thought it would be great to have one place you could refer to without needing to sign up or commit to anything. And so Try Local was born.”
Rebekah says gaining traction in the market has been her biggest challenge so far.
“The whole process of taking an idea, developing it and then launching it was very daunting. I had many sleepless nights. But it went really well; better than I expected. And everyone loves the quirky, Kiwi style. So now my focus is on getting the word out.
“I have partnered with Forge Creative who designed the website and manage things like SEO, Google Ads and so on. But I do everything else on a very limited budget, so getting the brand out there is my main priority.”
NZB “And lastly – what’s in it for users or visitors to your site?”
Rebekah says the main advantage of Try Local to users or visitors is that they don’t need to sign up or commit to anything to access any offer. “You can make a booking direct with the operators if you wish, otherwise you know the deal is there and you can take advantage of it when you wish. You can readily discover available offers in one easy-to-use website that can be accessed on any device. You don’t get bombarded with emails or have to provide personal or financial information.
“And you get to see some great businesses and offers that aren’t often available anywhere else – other than the operator’s own website – and suit your budget. All things that help inspire you to try something different.”
To learn more about Try Local click here.