Young people still drawn to Australia on Working Holiday Visas

The number of young travellers heading to Australia on Working Holiday Visas increased by 3% in 2011, according to figures released by ‘Destination New South Wales’ at the Australian Youth Tourism Exchange on the Sunshine Coast.

The number of working holiday makers who went to NSW grew by 2.1% alone for the same period. NSW saw a majority of the 241,000 working tourists with 72.5% of the total.

In an effort to make Australia an even more attractive destination for young people, ATEC managing director Felicia Mariani, said ATEC had recently put forth a proposal to the Federal Government to adjust the eligibility settings for the Working Holiday Visa (WHV).

“Australia stands to make significant economic gains through simple adjustments to the eligibility settings for this visa – benefits that would extend throughout Australia and to many sectors of the economy,” Ms Mariani said.

“ATEC is strongly advocating for the extension of the regional classification to the tourism industry – allowing WHV holders to extend their visa by 12 months after completing 88 days of work in a regional area and this has benefits that go beyond attracting more young travellers.”

Ms Mariani said the youth travel market is extremely important to our tourism industry as they spend more than leisure visitors, create jobs, help fill semi-skilled and unskilled positions and contribute to regional economies.

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