Increased Australian working holiday visa fee to hit backpackers
Australia, 25th October: Australia has announced a rise in its working holiday visa fee and this is going to have a big impact on its backpacking industry.
It is being feared that majority of aspiring Australian visa backpackers will look for other overseas options.
Hike in Australian work visa fee—Fee for Australian working holiday visa will move to $360 with effect from January 2013 from the current fee of $280. And this will have a restricting effect on the tourism of Queensland.
And this announced increase in Australian working holiday visa fee is becoming a cause of serious concern for Queensland farm growers, he maintains.
Hence, if Australia wants to attract backpackers to keep coming here, it must work to stay competitive in the global backpacker market, he states. The move will bring additional revenue of $520.5 million in the period of next four years.
Australian tourism boards have criticized the announced decision to raise Australian working visa fees including fee for skilled graduates, partners, temporary foreign workers and working holiday visas from next year will affect regional areas in a big way.
Backpackers-a major source of workforce to Australia-- Backpackers coming to Australia for working here on Australia working holiday visas comprise a major chunk of workforce in Australian farms, says Bowen Gumlu District Growers Association’s Carl Walker.
Nearly 80 percent of workers in Queensland farms are backpackers, he adds. Mr. John Lee, chief executive of Tourism and Transport, says its the backpackers on Australian working holiday visas who comprise about 20 percent of the workers.
They are engaged in doing odd jobs including picking tomatoes and other crops at different regions, he affirms.
Backpackers vital to Queensland—Backpackers coming to Australia on Australian working holiday visas from different nations of the world are significant to the economy of Queensland, says John Lee, chief executive of Tourism and Transport.
Backpackers have a wide choice to choose from in terms of a working holiday visa for living, travelling and working abroad, said Mr. Lee. There are nearly 200 nations offering working holiday visas for backpackers.
And keeping in view the fact that each visitor on an Australian working holiday visa spends around $5,500 during his stay in the nation, Australia needs to reconsider its decision to raise Australian working holiday visa fee since increasing costs could prove a big hindrance to the Australian backpacker industry, he recommends.