Immediate Support for Adventure and Youth Tourism Industry Needed Now

April 21st, 2020 | | backpacker

Sunday, March 22nd 2020

Dear Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Premier Daniel Andrews, The Federal Minister of Tourism Simon Birmingham, State Minister of Tourism Martin Pakula, Shadow Ministers and Tourism Bodies,

I am writing to you on behalf of Victoria’s leading adventure tourism industry body which is requesting immediate assistance. Tourism businesses are being hit hard now by travel bans and social distancing. The financial effects will be and have already been brutal.

We have already seen and we congratulate you on the stimulus packages being announced recently at a State and Federal level but we mustn’t forget to plan for the future amongst the current chaos.

As Australia starts to beat the Covid-19 epidemic and looks to rebuild our economy, will there be a resilient youth and adventure industry ready to go, helping Australia’s economy recover faster? We believe that the time to act is now .

We ask that you support our industry and the wider Australian economy by taking the following actions:

1. Reduce the 417 & 462 visa application fee to $100 or free to encourage a rapid working holiday visa uptake once the crisis has passed working from the historical success of the „10 pound Pom” program.

2. Anyone granted a working holiday visa but hasn’t yet activated it by March 15th, is granted another 12 months to activate it.

3. Anyone on a working holiday visa from December 31 st -July 1st will have been affected by Coronavirus. With this in mind, we’d like to welcome all travellers to come back on another working holiday visa, free of charge.

4. Introduce major advertising campaigns to major source countries including: UK, Germany, France, Taiwan and South Korea , highlighting working holiday visa programs and reduced visa fees.

5. For 417 and 462 visa holders still in Australia we ask that their accrued superannuation be released so this can be directly spent in the local economy

6. For all working holiday visa holders still remaining in Australia and working and holidaying we ask that an additional year be added to their stay to keep their spend going

7. Allowing employees from the tourism and hospitality industry that do not have permanent residency or citizenship the ability to access government funding such as the Jobkeeper and Jobseeker programs

Youth tourism accounts for the biggest spend per head, longest stay and greatest contributor to GDP of all segments and markets in the Australian tourism industry, statistics from Tourism Australia such as these demonstrate how important a quick and decisive response is:

1. The youth market contributes 25 per cent of all visitor arrivals to Australia and 45 per cent of all visitor spend.

There were 2.3 million youth visitors to Australia in 2018 who spent $20 billion (source Tourism Australia official website)

2. Of all working holiday visa holders arrivals 61% of those travel outside of the capital cities. Importantly, regional areas receive 26% of spend from working holiday visa holders compared to just 15% of spend for all visitors. Therefore making the return of youth paramount to the rebuild of the Australian regional economy (The Australia Inc. campaign, Tourism Australia)

Adventure Tourism Victoria and it’s members ask that a response be submitted within 7 days of receiving this letter.

The time to act is now .


Adventure Tourism Victoria Executive Committee, Committee and Financial Members

Sourced by Mike Barrow

Comments please:

2 Responses

  1. Good letter, congratulations.

    The other thing we should ask for is to bring back the 408 visa for rural paid experienced agricultural work on the Cultural Exchange programme for those who do not qualify for the 417 or 462 visas. This would bring in another 2000+ mostly from Southern Africa, Mongolia, India, Brazil and eastern Europe whose skills are needed in the outback. This visa was removed for paid work in 2017 and is sorely missed. The Trainee Visa 407 does not apply for most of these people and it takes more than 6 months to be granted after 3 levels of application including sponsorship..

  2. Macca says:

    All backpackers who returned to their home land when asked by the Prime Minister should be allowed to return to complete their time on their visa

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