The Backpacker & Youth Tourism Advisory Panel (BYTAP) congratulates Prime Minister Albanese and welcomes the new Australian government at a critical time for the youth tourism sector.

It is timely that as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong head today to the Quad Summit being held in Japan, the Working Holiday Maker program continues to foster deep bilateral ties between the Quad’s attendees.

BYTAP’s Chair Wendi Aylward said that all four countries attending the Summit were enthusiastic participants of the Working Holiday Maker visa – with the latest member, India, announced just last month. “The US has been a long-term supporter of joint bilateral youth exchanges between our two countries – and in fact this year marks the 50th year that Australians have participated on the US cultural exchange visa.”

With close to 50 countries covered under the reciprocal Working Holiday Maker scheme (the newest, Mongolia and Brazil, join on 1 July 2022), it shows how important youth travellers are in the recovery of Australia’s second largest industry, tourism. “Working Holiday Makers stay longer, travel further into regional Australia, and spend more than any other type of visitor” said Ms Aylward.

Ms Aylward hopes that the Quad Summit will remind Australia’s new Government of the importance of supporting the youth tourism sector. “Tourism was one of the most heavily hit industries during the pandemic. We welcome the opportunity to work with Prime Minister Albanese and the new government to ensure the continued growth and success of this vital segment of the visitor economy”.