Backpackers returning to Australia

19th Mar 2012
Written by: Macca Sherifi

Backpackers returning to Australia

Backpackers and travellers are once again returning to Australia on their gap year, showing positive signs for the youth travel market.

Recent trends have shown a rise in gap years in South East Asia but it looks like the tide could be turning once again.

Latest figures show a surge in numbers of young British, Irish, French and Germans travelling to Australia on a working holiday visa.

Tourist boards in Australia have been running a number of campaigns over the past year and it is thought that campaigns such as Tourism Queensland's ‘Work and Play' are one of the reasons why there's been an influx of young travellers. It is also thought that the smash-hit BBC documentary Great Barrier Reef and record-high youth unemployment in Europe are other reasons.

Former forensic scientist Naomi Mack, 28, of Cambridge, was one of 18 happy winners out of 1051 applicants to pick up a free working holiday visa and a guaranteed job in the online campaign.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, she said: "Lots of young people in the UK are losing their jobs and thinking of taking a break in Australia.

"I'm here to take a break between my work and my future, have a good time and meet some people."

About 16,000 Brits (up 2% compared to 2010) took up a working holiday visa last year, along with 8,000 Irish youth (up 25%). Germans were up 10%, and French up 4%.

Also, approximately one in four German travellers enjoy their holiday so much they apply to stay on for a second year on the visa.

So, who's going to Australia on a working holiday visa? What are you planning to do?

If you're thinking of finding a job in Australia, then read our handy guide on Working in Australia – it's got everything you need to know.

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