A global campaign has been launched to attract more young people to consider a working holiday in Australia.

In particular the nation is keen to attract more working holiday makers from the United States, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. The campaign from Tourism Australia comes at a time when numbers have dropped due to tax changes.


The campaign focuses on reminding young travellers that an Australian working holiday is more than just a job and more than a holiday. In 2016 more than 320,000 working holiday makers spent approximately $3 billion in Australia.

But working holiday makers now have to pay more tax on the income they earn while in Australia and many of the sectors they tend to work in, such as hospitality, agriculture, retail and tourism have found numbers have dropped.

The Global Work and Travel Company, with offices in London and Vancouver found that enquiries for working in Australia fell by up to 30% this time last year when it was revealed that a tax on earnings for backpackers would be introduced.

'Young travellers changed their plans about heading to Australia and looked at other destinations like the USA or New Zealand instead,' said the firm's chief executive officer Jurgen Himmelmann. But demand is now picking up again and he hopes that it will exceed expectations as Australia offers such a wide variety of jobs for backpackers.

It comes as official figures show that more people than ever are visiting Australia, with numbers reaching 7.7 million in the 12 months to March 2017, a rise of 9%, led by a rise of 18% from Japan, a 14% rise from the US and a 12% rise from China. Numbers from the UK increased by 2% and from New Zealand by 3%.

There were 1.1 million visitors from China, 1.2 million from New Zealand, 684,000 from the US, 674,000 from the UK and 390,000 from Japan.

There was a 25% increase in people from Japan going to Australia for a holiday and a 21% rise in the number of Americans. The US has seen consistent growth in holiday makers in Australia, up 107% since 2012. While most of the growth in holiday visits from Japan was seen over the last year.

But there have been fewer tourists from China, down 4% quarter on quarter, the first fall since 2010. It is suggested that this was due to a drop in group tours in the first quarter of2017, with visitors from China falling by 15% compared to the same quarter of 2016.

Although Chinese travel for non-group tours increased by 8%, this was not enough to counter balance the drop in group tours. However, China continues to be the dominant holiday market, accounting for one in every six holiday visitors.

The figures also show that international tourists are staying longer and spending more when they visit Australia and they are venturing out of the capital cities with record growth of 29% in regional Australia in the last three years.

Tourism chiefs expect China to overtake New Zealand in 2017/2018 in terms of visitor numbers, two years earlier than previously forecast. China is expected to contribute 43% of total growth in visitor numbers by 2024/2025.

They also expect to see an increase in visitors from Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea in the coming years, along with traditional markets of New Zealand and the US. Sporting events scheduled in 2017/2018 are expected to generate an increase in arrivals from the UK.