04 February 2009

MySpace lures more Brits to an Australian working holiday

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Even though Britain is suffering a recession, figures released from the Australian immigration department show that 21 per cent more Brits are holidaying in Australia than the previous year.

It seems that more young Brits are escaping the woes of the falling UK economy and jumping ship to enjoy Australia's sunny playground.  The figures released from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) show that over 20,000 Australian working holiday visas were granted to British citizens between July and December 2008, which is three thousand more than the same period the year before.

MySpace and Bebo have been held responsible for encouraging more Brits to travel Down Under, as over 6,000 people have followed the prompts from MySpace through to information on the DIAC website about the Australian working holiday visa.  Over 3 million people have also viewed Bebo's video postings of gap years in Australia.

"Tourism Australia has been investing in the promotion of the visa for 12 months now, so it is encouraging to see more Brits are heading to Australia to experience the Aussie lifestyle for an extended period on the back of our marketing campaign," said Tourism Australia general manager UK/Europe Rodney Harrex.

"Whether you want to pick fruit in a country area or pull beers in a city pub, the Working Holiday Visa is a great way to meet people and use the money you earn to travel extensively throughout the country."

Under this Australian working visa, 18 to 30 year old nationals from participating countries can 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. 

Amanda Gripske, working holiday Division Manager from the Australian Visa Bureau, said: "In 2008 we had seen a large number of UK passport holders applying for the Australian working holiday visas and we are excited at the prospect that this will continue in 2009."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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