Lakes Entrance local, Tenille Bull, has found a way to contribute to the long-term futures of many tourist-based businesses in the East Gippsland area suffering from the current bushfire catastrophe with the creation of a virtual shopping site: ‘It’s My Shout’.
Bull says rebuilding the tourism of bushfire affected areas is a priority for many well-meaning Aussies, yet physically visiting these locations is neither practical or safe at this current moment. So she came up with an option to create It’s My Shout to allow people to purchase virtual products from bushfire-affected local communities to keep their small businesses alive.
The platform allows consumers to keep these tourist towns active by ‘virtual spending’. The website allows consumers across the globe to choose from virtual coffees or beers, clothing or haircuts, dinner or accommodation – with all proceeds being donated to the respective businesses.
Virtual visitors can also opt to purchase a coffee for a hero – whether it be CFA, SES, Police Ambulance, DELWP, Relief Volunteer or someone who has been affected by the tragic bushfires in East Gippsland. With every coffee purchased, It’s My Shout will add five pre-paid coffees onto the ‘Coffee for a Hero’ tally, so when the next ‘Hero’ walks in craving coffee, they can say ‘it’s my shout!’
According to 2015 data gained in the East Gippsland International Tourism Action Plan 2016-2018, International visitors alone make up a whopping 30,500 additional people to East Gippsland, with an average spending of $1052 per person.
For many locally-owned and run businesses, the peak six weeks of summer holidays are the busiest of the year. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many businesses make 50-60 per cent of their income for the year during these peak times. Bull says locals are now left wondering how they’ll keep their businesses afloat without that income.
“Thankfully through ‘It’s My Shout’ we can all do our part to help.”
For more information, to register as a business or to make a virtual purchase, please visit www.itsmyshout.com.au