New campaign to boost regional tourism

The Liberal-National Government has today announced a new campaign to attract more working holiday makers toAustralia, helping to support our farmers and boost regional tourism.

Ministerfor Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said Australia had areputation as a top destination for working holiday makers, but more could bedone to convince working holiday makers to pack their bags and book a flight toAustralia.

"Workingholiday makers are an essential part of Australia's agricultural and tourismindustries," Minister Birmingham said.

"They'reabsolutely critical to filling short-term workforce shortages in regional areasand they also inject over $3 billion into our economy each year.

"Weknow working holiday makers who travel to Australia, stay longer, spend moreand travel further into regional areas than most other international visitors.They also importantly help fill seasonal roles in regional Australia, wherefarmers often struggle to source labour.

"Workingholiday makers basically spend every dollar they earn while in Australia, inaddition to the savings they bring here, creating more jobs for Australians inour tourism and hospitality industry.

"WhilstAustralia is a highly desirable working holiday maker destination, researchshows there are some barriers to travel, such as distance and a lack ofunderstanding of the long-term benefits of a working holiday in Australia.

"This campaign 'AustraliaInc' is aimed at demonstrating how livingand working in Australia will make young people stand out from the crowd whenthey return home and benefit their long-term career and life goals."

AustraliaInc. willrun through the United Kingdom, France and Germany and target young people who have a high likelihood ofconsidering overseas travel with temporary work.

Ministerfor Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman saidrecent enhancements to the work and holiday visa program were designed tosupport rural and regional areas.

"Thiscampaign forms part of our ongoing work to enhance and promote the work andholiday visa program that is so important in supporting regional and ruralcommunities," Minister Coleman said.

"Wewant Australians filling Australian jobs but when this isn't possible action isneeded to ensure farmers and other employers can continue to operate.

"Ourenhancements include expanding the regionalareas where working holiday makers can work, increasing the time period theycan stay with an employer and adding the option of a third-year.

"They'vebeen specifically designed to target genuine workforce shortages in regionalAustralia."

AssistantMinister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck said it was vitalAustralia continued to attract temporary workers to fill genuine workforceshortages in regional areas.

"Accessto sufficient labour, particularly for seasonal work, is a perennial issue andconcern for the industry," Assistant Minister Colbeck said.

"Ourchanges to the working holiday visa are specifically designed to help meet theneeds of our farmers, as part of broader measures.

"Ourapproach is in stark contrast to Labor and the ACTU whose plan to abandonaltogether the second year working holiday visa would remove over 36,000Working Holiday visa holders from the Australian economy.

"Laborand the ACTU's proposed backpacker ban would have a devastating impact on ourfarmers and hurt Australia's thriving tourism industry."

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