|Travellers work at fruit picking in Australia
Young travellers seeking a working holiday experience in Australia increased by three percent in 2011, according to figures released by Destination NSW at the Australian Youth Tourism Exchange at the Sunshine Coast.
Unveiled at the Australian Youth Tourism Exchange at the Sunshine Coast, the numbers of working holiday makers to NSW alone grew by 2.1 percent for the same period. The state saw a majority of the 241,000 working tourists with 72.5 percent of the total.
Destination NSW chief executive officer Sandra Chipchase said it is encouraging to see that even though recent challenging conditions in the global economy have put pressure on Australian inbound tourism, this figure is comparable with 2010.
“New South Wales received 174,900 working holiday visitors, spending 13.1 million nights in the State and contributing $751 million in expenditure,” Ms Chipchase said.
Normally first-time visitors, the 18 to 30 year age bracket are an important segment in the youth market as they tend to stay longer, travel independently, are more flexible with travelling plans and more likely to explore outside capital cities.
Ms Chipchase said the digitally savvy experience seeking younger travellers have an eager approach to travel and are willing to participate in social and outdoor adventurous activities.
“The youth market represents strong short-term potential for tourism in Australia, as well as longer term potential through repeat visitation and spreading the message by word-of-mouth and social networking.”
Destination NSW recently ran a youth campaign which saw five travel bloggers from around the world embarked on a month-long travel odyssey across NSW. While travelling across the State in a bus, the bloggers shared their experiences with thousands of worldwide followers through social media including Twitter and Facebook.
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.
Showcasing NSW as an exciting, accessible and affordable destination for 18 to 30 year-olds, Destination NSW has been delivering marketing campaigns in key markets like the USA, UK and New Zealand.
“We will continue to market our State as the ideal work and travel destination for young travellers, with particular emphasis on lifestyle, sun, surf, adventure and great food and wine experiences,” Ms Chipchase said.