Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement on 22 November 2021 signalling the return of Working Holiday Makers was celebrated by one of Australia’s largest youth tourism company’s and long-standing WYSE Travel Confederation Elite Member, the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS). AIFS’ Managing Director, Wendi Aylward, who is also the spokesperson for the youth tourism sector’s BYTAP said having a date gave the industry the certainty it needed to once again welcome Working Holiday Makers to Australia.
“Australia is considered one of the top youth destinations. AIFS has already started to receive bookings from travellers keen to return. It sends a very positive signal that the market can and will recover.”
Like many in the sector, AIFS has seen the impact of borders closures. Two of AIFS’ largest programs, ‘Work & Travel’ secures work in the hospitality and agricultural sectors while AIFS’ Au Pair program places au pairs with Australian families.
Ms Aylward said: “It has been heartbreaking speaking with farmers who have had to plough their crops into the ground, or restaurants closing their doors some nights as they simply cannot source staff. Over the last 18 months we have also heard from essential worker families in regional areas who have been forced to stop work as they cannot find alternative childcare. Today’s news will be celebrated around many Australian dinner tables tonight.”
As one of the few companies that sends young Australians overseas as well as bringing in youth travellers, Ms Aylward said AIFS has witnessed the long-term benefits to Australia of programs like the Working Holiday Maker scheme.
“Cultural exchange cannot be underestimated. Youth travellers are Australia’s greater advocates, sharing their experiences and by doing so, generating new visitors to our shores. Let’s not forget that among them will be the world’s future leaders and heads of industry. We cannot be happier to welcome Working holiday Makers back into our midst.”