24 September 2008

British survey shows Australia and NZ top choice for backpackers

Earlier this year, the Network – a market research company – released findings from a survey that showed Australia and New Zealand are the favourite long haul destinations for UK travellers.

The research also reported that travel agents are expecting a 17 per cent increase in the number of bookings for backpacking in Australia, reports the Travelmole.  

Approximately half of all young Britons who take a gap year choose Australia or New Zealand as their destination.

From a more global perspective, Gapyear.com reports that more young international travellers are choosing Australia as their main destination when travelling around the world.  Tom Griffiths, founder of the company, said "STA Travel has reported record numbers of long-haul round the world tickets for 2007, and Australia is the number one destination."

He also said New Zealand has remained a strong contender in the working holiday visa market.   "New Zealand has been doing lots of marketing and it seems to be quite effective. As a destination New Zealand has huge appeal."

Anna Siggs-Webster, working holiday Division Manager from the Australian Visa Bureau, said "The volume of working holiday visa sales to Australia for 2008 has increased significantly from 2007, a trend that is expected to continue in coming years."

The Australian working holiday visa allows young travellers aged 18 to 30 years to work and travel the country for up to 12 months.  Conditions of the visa mean that visa holders cannot work for one employer for longer than six months.  Those who work in a specified occupation in regional Australia for three months or more are now also allowed to apply for a second working holiday visa.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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