New venture to counteract region's ‘depression’
ONE of the regions most respected tourism operators has created a one stop online shop for all things Granite Belt.
For several months Marion Carrick has kept quiet about her new online venture, but this week, The Localist, went live.
"It's taken me a while to get the site as it should be," Ms Carrick said.
"It was born out of basically business and tourism being depressed in the region.
"I was talking with some friends who are in business and the heart just really went out to them for the struggles they're in.
"There didn't appear to be an answer for them.
"I gave it some thought and realised, when I really thought about it, that although we have tourism sites, there's nothing really out there for business."
Not only does The Localist highlight tourism and accommodation, but restaurants, breweries, wineries, retail stores, liquor stores, hardware, mechanical and everything in between.
"There's nothing for shopping, retail, beauty, real estate … they weren't represented at all.
"Visitors to the region use a lot of these businesses and services.
"So with a glass of Granite Belt sparkling Marsanne in hand The Localist was created," Ms Carrick said.
It's early days and the website will continue to grow Ms Carrick said.
"It's not just a tourism or business website. It's written by locals and there's insider tips on what locals like doing for example.
"We've got it up, got it live, blogs are starting to load, promotions are starting and people are starting to get their listings.
"It's a relief to get it off the ground."
While Marion has a vested interest in the Granite Belt, operating Alure Stanthorpe, the website will expand outside the area eventually.
"The idea for The Localist is that it'll eventually be national.
"There will be regions throughout Australia all with a similar story … needing to be represented and needing someone to provide that gap in the market.
"This is just an addition to the existing tourism sites in the region. It's complimentary."
To view the website or find out how you can promote your business visit https://www.thelocalist.com.au/