The Prime Minister’s announcement this morning signalling the return of Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) from December 1 has been welcomed by the youth tourism sector who have been heavily impacted since borders closed early last year. BYTAP spokesperson Wendi Aylward said a fixed start date represents an important step towards the sector’s recovery. “Tourism operators now have the certainty they need to reopen their businesses. After a very tough 18 months, this is the Christmas present we were all hoping for to restart this $3.2b sector of our economy.”
Ms Aylward said key source markets such as the UK and Germany were already experiencing a high volume of enquiries as word of Australia’s anticipated reopen spreads. “Many overseas agents are gearing up for anticipated strong sales for 2022. It is going to be a very busy year ahead – and we could not be happier.”
Over the past 3 months BYTAP has been part of a Working Holiday Maker Pilot Working Group, comprising of BYTAP, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), the National Farmers Federation (NFF), Qantas and Tourism Australia. The group has been working closely with Government to ensure the return of working holiday makers to address critical labour shortages, and bring business back to the hundreds of travel operators whose businesses ground to a halt in March 2020.
Ms Aylward said the announcement was also welcome news to the hospitality and agricultural industries who face critical labour shortages in the coming months. “Every year 250,000 jobs are filled by WHMs who help pick our crops and work in our hotels and restaurants. We cannot be more pleased to welcome them back”.
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