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Australian backpacker market rebounds

Recent reports reveal a record number of backpackers received Australian working holiday visas, indicating the market is as strong as ever.
10 August 2007
The figures released by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) show that between July 2006 and March 2007, a record 102,966 backpackers were granted working holiday visas. This is a 15 per cent improvement on the same period from the previous year.

The report also indicated that the highest number of working holiday visa holders - 23,839 – were British based; a turnaround in figures after previous years indicated that Oz seemed to be falling out of favour with UK travellers.

Additionally, Australian Tourism Export Council's Backpacker Tourism Advisory Panel chairman Julian Ledger recently stated that the figures meant good news for Australia’s business sector. "Many businesses, especially in regional Australia, are dependent on backpacker labour so it is positive to see an increase in visa grants," he said.

Mr Ledger went onto reason that Australia had become a more tempting long-stay destination following recent changes allowing backpackers to work for six months with a single employer as opposed to three, and an extension of their visa for a second year after a minimum of three months agricultural work.

There are a number of conditions that must be met for a working holiday visa to be granted. These are available on ETA-visas.co.uk's Work and Play section, where you can also apply for a working holiday visa online.