A record 102,966 backpackers being granted Australian working holiday visas for the nine months to March 2007 – an increase of 15 percent – with 130,000 more expected for the next 12 month period, is good news for the backpacker industry and for labour-starved Australian businesses…though the rising Aussie dollar is a ‘worry’.
Are you involved with backpackers? Let’s know if you are noticing a change.
Just discovered Workabout Australia, an employment and working holiday guide. Originally published in 1996 it now covers 176 locations in all Australian States and provides info about each location, the seasonal employment available, numbers required, accommodation, transport, how to get there, job and industry description, recruitment details and tourist attractions. Worth a look!
Backpackers can now work for six months with a single employer as opposed to three, and can extend their visa for a second year following a minimum three months’ agricultural work. This makes Australia a more attractive long-stay destination.
The Backpacker Tourism Advisory Panel has been campaigning for a relaxation of the restrictions on the working holiday visa to bring us into line with other countries such as New Zealand.
Last year more than half a million backpackers spent $2.8 billion in Australia. They are one of the highest-spending, longest-staying sectors and though they’ll cut costs on accommodation and food, they travel widely and spend up big on entertainment, tours and other activities.
Visa grants from Taiwan, Estonia and Belgium, while still small in number, also showed promising growth.
Backpackers get their travel/work info through informal channels rather than mainstream advertising, so tourism operators who want their marketing efforts to reach them must find ways of tapping into travel guides such as Lonely Planet and Let’s Go, and getting their message out through word-or-mouth at hostels and bars.
ATEC National Media and Communications Manager
Ph: 02 8262 5501