An online platform connecting tourists with local people, offering unique and immersive travel experiences, has secured Palaszczuk Government funding to help market their product globally.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business Leeanne Enoch said Gold Coast-based Localyokl’s platform has the potential to boost tourism revenue and create hundreds of jobs throughout Queensland.
“This is a wonderful idea based on the simple premise that there’s no substitute for local knowledge,” Ms Enoch said. “An increasing number of tourists to Queensland are looking for authentic and personalised experiences.
“This platform allows local guides to register and establish profiles for their experiences. They can record their availability on a roster and customers can contact them via a messaging service.
“Queenslanders will have the opportunity through Localyokl to develop tourism experiences around the things they are passionate about and then connect online with travellers from around the world.”
Co-founder Gary Waldon has big dreams for Localyokl.
“We’re looking to transform the way people travel and we want to become a significant economic contributor to Queensland,” Mr Waldon said.
“Our platform has been well received with over 300 local guides registered on the Gold Coast and over 150 local experiences on offer. We’ll be using our Ignite Ideas Fund grant to test the market’s response to the platform nationally and then we’ll make any necessary enhancements to help us scale both in Australia and abroad.
“Our target is that within three years of the project’s completion we could be supporting as many as 500 new guides in Queensland alone,” he said.
“Many of these guides will be offering personalised, niche tour experiences to supplement their income. For others, our platform may offer the potential to sustain a guide in full-time business.
“However, we’re not looking at competing with mass tour operators. Our guides will connect with travellers who want unique local experiences with a personal touch.”
Ms Enoch said Localyokl – who secured $100,000 – is among 85 Queensland applicants, independently assessed in a highly competitive process, sharing in the latest round of $10 million Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas funding.
“The Palaszczuk Government has so far supported 203 Queensland businesses through $26.5 million of Ignite Ideas funding over three rounds, driving more than 1000 new jobs,” Ms Enoch said.
Ignite Ideas Fund is part of the $420 million Advance Queensland initiative aiming to turn ideas into actions by investing in research and technologies, attracting new investment, building global partnerships and encouraging businesses to start and grow in Queensland.
For more information about the Ignite Ideas Fund, visit: http://advance.qld.gov.au/