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Australia still number one choice for travellers

A global survey showed that Australia is still the number one choice for travellers during the global recession, reports Reuters.
13 February 2009
Visa and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) commissioned the survey, which polled over 5,500 people. Results from the survey shows that those who are thinking of travelling next year would make Australia their number one destination, and two-thirds of people are evaluating their travel plans because of the global crisis. Over half of the 5,500 people surveyed chose Australia as their choice of country.

The survey included participants from Australia, China, Taiwan, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the United States and Britain. According to the survey, Australians, Britons, Singaporeans, Indians, French and Americans said they were unlikely to alter their travel plans because of the financial crisis, while Taiwanese, Koreans, Japanese, Hong Kong nationals and Chinese would consider doing so.

In related news, figures from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) show that more young people living in the UK are escaping the financial pressures to holiday in Australia on an Australian working holiday visa. According to the government, DIAC granted 21 per cent more Australian working visas in January 2009 than in the same period last year. In addition, DIAC granted over 20,000 Australian working holiday visas to British citizens between July and December 2008, which is three thousand more than the same period the year before.

The Australian working holiday visa allows 18 to 30 year old nationals from participating countries to work in Australia for 12 months. Holders of this visa have the option of extending it for 12 months if they work in a specified horticultural region of Australia in a specified industry for three months or more.

Eligible applicants must be able to pass health and character assessments, have a valid passport for the duration of their stay in Australia and prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves once landed in the country.