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Australia’s Minister for Tourism and International Education Addresses WYSE Exchange Australia Delegates

07 April 2016
7 Apr 2016 -

Senator Richard Colbeck, Australia’s Minister for Tourism and International Education, states that Australia’s super growth sectors over the next two decades include youth and student travel.

Early this morning, Senator Richard Colbeck opened the WYSE Exchange Australia Youth Tourism Conference, addressing over 130 leaders of international youth, student and educational travel businesses. The collective travel industry represented at the event is poised to pump an extra 250 billion dollars into Australia’s tourism economy.

“Tourism and international education have been identified as two of the five key super growth sectors projected to deliver an extra 250 billion dollars to the national economy over the next 20 years,” stated Minister Colbeck. “The youth market contributes 25% of all visitor arrivals to Australia and represents 44% of all visitor spend.”

Minister Colbeck outlined several strategic initiatives sure to attract youth and student travellers to Australia and develop much-needed skilled capacity and employment opportunities for Australia’s tourism sector. Extensions for certain visa holders working in tourism or hospitality, the addition of new skilled occupations qualified for eased paths to residence permits, and an “unprecedented work and holiday arrangement” with China were highlighted. A free trade agreement between Australia and China will enable 5,000 working holidaymakers from China to visit Australia each year.

Given the valuable potential that working holidaymakers represent for Australia’s super growth sectors and Australia’s overall global competitiveness as a travel destination, Minister Colbeck alluded to continuing discussions to arrive at a ‘revenue neutral’ proposal for the pending working holiday income tax measures.

Echoing Minister Colbeck’s invitation for industry input on the tax proposal, WYSE Travel Confederation’s Director General, David Chapman, commented, “WYSE strongly encourages those in the youth and student travel industry to share their concerns and ideas on the proposed ‘backpacker tax’ and to work closely with local and national associations. Australia is exemplary in its strategic planning and policy with regard to export tourism and we are confident that the matter will be carefully considered through a variety of stakeholder perspectives that point to the value of young visitors to Australia.”

“The Australian government remains committed to making it easier for young travellers and students to choose Australia for study and leisure holidays,” emphasised Minister Colbeck.

The Australian Youth Tourism Conference is now underway with a diverse range of industry experts, businesses, agencies, tourism specialists, media and academics reflecting on the trends and opportunities shaping the outlook for 2016 and beyond: Destination NSW, YHA Australia, MyTravel Research, Clemenger BBDO, Tourism Australia, Junkee Media, Topdeck Tours, World Nomads Group, Adventure QLD, Alliance Abroad Group, World Study Brazil, Base / Nomads, Swinburne University and The Byte.