Welcome to LiveLocal!
During lockdown, some Kiwi Hosts and Travellers came together with a crazy idea....
More than 200 volunteers came together to form an online community, during COVID19 lockdown, to discuss how a Kiwi made marketplace could help lift New Zealand tourism in the coming year. We started by supporting the Self-Isolation Accommodation Group NZ and, within a few days, we managed to find a few thousand overseas travellers and Kiwis a place to stay before Lockdown.
This was how it began and how many of us came together to start talking about what to do next.
Shortly afterwards, we began a grass roots
initiative to help Kiwi hosts and travellers, and be ready together when local tourism returns. We
are thinking big picture too. If we can find a way to make travel
accommodation more affordable, then local tourism businesses will have a
chance at bouncing back when the time comes.
Not just another 'Airbnb' business
Through our large community of supporters, we were able to ask experienced New Zealand Hosts what the biggest challenges were when it came to slashing costs. Many expressed a huge desire to make their prices more attractive to Kiwi guests, but they weren't sure where to start. Many guests also expressed a strong desire to see less 'extras' tacked on to the cost of their trip by the time they reach the check-out screen.
obvious place we thought to start is reducing the whopping 20%
commission fees that overseas platforms tack on to prices. Plus, we
wanted to eliminate other hidden extras like 'additional guest fees' or
'cleaning fees'. These things create a big distortion between the
advertised price and what guests really end up paying.
This is about Kiwis helping Kiwis
This initiative is about something bigger than us, and bigger than this website.
It's about getting ready to breathe some life to the local tourism market in New Zealand. This website is but one cog in a wheel. If it dies out in a year, so be it. But if it contributes to giving New Zealand businesses a temporary rebound spike, even for a short time, then that's great for everyone. Not just for those using this website, but for every New Zealander!
Your big questions answered:
1. Why private accommodation?
Staying in private accommodation means lower risk because there is less interaction with other people. Contact tracing in private accommodation is also easier because there are less (or no) common areas, which means less people coming and going. We think hotels and motels are important too, but we think private accommodation providers are ideally placed to support the initial waves of cautious and safe travel from Alert Level 2 and beyond.
2. Why should I think about travel now?
Alert Level 2 is here! This means you can travel, provided that you can do so safely. We predict that the coming year will be the best time, in modern New Zealand history, for Kiwis to travel to see our own country, without needing to queue amongst loads of overseas tourists!
3. NZ Tourism businesses need our help!
This isn't a question, it's a fact. If we want Kiwi iconic attractions to be there for future generations, we need to start making plans to get out and support them now. What would it mean to us if Hobbiton closed? Or if all the awesome fun things to do in Queenstown dried up? To prevent this from happening, we need Kiwis to start planning their "bucket list" trip!
4. Why should I book through LiveLocal?
LiveLocal does away with the high commission fees that overseas platforms charge. These savings are passed directly on to guests and hosts, which means high quality private accommodation can be found at a price that can't be beaten by other major platforms... and Kiwis have a better shot at finding an affordable spot to fit the whole whānau! In addition to that, LiveLocal is a New Zealand grown and owned business, which means any profits we do make (not likely but it could happen!) will remain in New Zealand.
How can you help?
We are just getting started and there are many ways you can help!
To get this place up and running, we are relying solely on volunteer time and crowdfunding donations to buy the platform licencing, hosting, and support center we need. As a minimum, we wanted top notch security to handle payments and personal information, so people can pay safely and feel confident.
To sign up for a host membership, or to make a one-off support donation, you can click on the "Buy me a coffee" button below, which is the third-party crowdfunding website we are using. It's not actually about coffee :)
Buy me a coffee
Thanks for your support!