Your peak industry body has been working hard on your behalf over the past two years. Here’s a wrap up of the top 20 wins over that tumultuous time!

  1. Developing strong relationships with various tiers of government, particularly at Federal level, including with elected representatives and relevant public servants

 

  1. Petitioning Federal government for early return of Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) ahead of mainstream tourists (achieved with WHMs arriving from 15 December 2021 – 2 months ahead of other visitors)

 

  1. Advocacy to Federal government to relax WHM visa restrictions during the pandemic – achieved, including.:
    1. Onshore n​il Visa Application Charge (VAC) introduced for WHMs from 5 March 2022 to 31 December 2022 (allowing WHMs who experienced disruptions to domestic travel and employment opportunities during COVID-19 to stay longer and save $495)
    2. Offshore nil VAC put in place from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2022 for WHMs whose trips were interrupted by either not being able to come to Australia, or having to return early due to the pandemic (to encourage them to travel here once borders reopened)
    3. VAC waiver also introduced for new arrivals from 19 January to 19 April 2022 to stimulate early adopter WHMs to travel to Australia and spread the word about the country being open
    4. From 8 May 2021, WHMs working in the tourism and hospitality sectors anywhere in Australia were granted permission to work for up to 12 months with the same employer or organisation without requesting prior permission.
    5. From 22 June 2021, work undertaken in the tourism and hospitality sectors in northern, remote or very remote Australia was able to be counted as specified work towards eligibility for a second or third WHM visa (for WHM applications lodged from 5 March 2022)
    6. Ability for WHMs to work for one employer/organisation in any sector for over six months without first seeking permission introduced from 19 January 2022 until 31 December 2022 (when it will be reviewed by the Government – BYTAP to provide input on this before that date)
    7. 30% cap increase achieved for 462 Work & Holiday visa countries for 2022-23

 

  1. Advocacy for medium to long-term expansion of WHM scheme (e.g. adding more countries and increasing caps) – ongoing, with recent achievements including:
    1. Age limit increase to 35 for Italian and Danish WHMs from 1 July 2022 (adding to this extended age limit already being in place for WHMs from Canada, France and Ireland)
    2. Cap increases achieved for Work and Holiday visas for Hungary, Austria and the Slovak Republic from 1 July 2022 (an additional 1,400 places available each year through these reciprocal increases)
    3. Commencing on 1 July 2022, up to 500 young Brazilians able to avail of a Work & Holiday Visa, becoming the 47th country to join the Working Holiday Maker program
    4. Up to 100 Mongolians able to obtain Work & Holiday visas from 1 July 2022
    5. From April 2022, in the context of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, Australia agreed to extend access to the Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa to up to 1,000 Indian citizens each year (and has undertaken that within 2 years arrangements will be put in place to allow eligible Indian citizens aged between 18 and 30 to apply for a Work & Holiday visa)
    6. From 1 January 2022 Switzerland joined the WHM program
    7. On 17 December 2021 the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed including new arrangements for UK WHMs (to be implemented within two years of the FTA entering into force) increasing the age limit to 35 and removing requirement to undertake any ‘specified work’ to obtain a second/third year visa

 

  1. Submissions – preparing submissions on issues of interest to the industry including e.g:
  • Federal Parliamentary inquiry into the WHM program, with BYTAP Committee members also providing expert witness testimony at hearings
  • ‘Reimagining the Visitor Economy’ (resulting in the ‘Thrive 2030’ long-term tourism strategy for Australia) to keep focus on the importance on the youth tourism segment

 

  1. Building a strong partnership with Tourism Australia – including participation in regular roundtable forums to provide industry input into WHM market priorities and marketing campaigns

 

  1. Deepening wider industry relations and raising the profile of youth tourism – including regular liaison with the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC), Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) and Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF)

 

  1. Stakeholder management – g. liaising with Austrade to provide input into major research into the WHM market, and amplifying the reach of the report

 

  1. Forging partnerships with aligned industry advocacy bodies including e.g. National Farmers Federation, the NSW Farmers Federation and major agricultural contractors.

 

  1. Market intelligence – conducting industry sentiment surveys, and using data and testimonials collected from this for advocacy and media efforts

 

  1. Media relations – connecting with key media to cover youth tourism and WHM issues and have BYTAP spokesperson’s quoted as experts in this field

 

  1. Setting up regular liaison with State-based youth tourism Associations – to align messaging on Federal and State levels, and provide a conduit for cascading issues on a national level

 

  1. Establishing BYTAP website as a resource centre – for advocacy efforts and media relations

 

  1. Communications to keep the wider sector informed – e.g. via regular update posts on Facebook ‘Industry Legends’ group

 

  1. International relations to raise BYTAP’s profile and keep the global youth travel & tourism industry updated on Australia’s youth tourism sector, including e.g.
  • regular updates to WYSE (featured in their e-newsletter/website, and BYTAP nominated in the Global Youth Travel Award for Productive Cross-Industry Collaboration)
  • Committee members presenting on BYTAP’s advocacy efforts at the World Youth & Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) 2020 & 2021

 

  1. Connecting with related international entities – including WYSE, The Alliance (US), IAPA and BYATA New Zealand, to share market trends, advocacy strategies, and alignment of priorities/messaging

 

  1. Review of organisational structure and Committee composition – including rejuvenating representation on BYTAP from May 2022, with new Committee members from Adventure Queensland (AQ), Adventure Tourism Victoria (ATV) and Youth Tourism NSW (YTNSW)

 

  1. Providing input into policy-making forums – including BYTAP being represented on the Federal Government’s Tourism Visa Advisory Group (TVAG) from May 2022

 

  1. Nurturing bipartisan support for BYTAP’s objectives and the WHM scheme, including representations to the opposition (forming government from May 2022)

 

  1. Industry networking events – including e.g. Tourism Australia-sponsored youth tourism function during Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) 2022