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Australian government introduces new measures to attract UK tourists

KangaroosThe Australian government has announced a package of new measures aimed to increase Australia’s attractiveness as a destination for young working holiday makers.

Since its introduction in 1975, Australia has welcomed British citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 to work and travel on the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa.

The WHM scheme gives citizens from eligible countries the chance to work and live in Australia for up to two years.

As it stands, around 40,000 British citizens travel on a WHM visa each year and the Australian government is looking to increase those numbers in 2017 whilst working alongside Tourism Australia.

The new measures announced include a $50 reduction on the cost of the visa, so from 1 January 2017 it will cost $390, whilst the tax rate for working holiday makers will be set at 19% on earnings up to $37,000, rather than 32.5%.

The Australian government is also looking into the possibilities of extending the age limit, so that British citizens aged up to 35 years could travel on the WHM visa.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, said: “An Australian working holiday is more than just a job, and more than a holiday – our country offers so much.”

It is hoped that the introduction of the changes to the program will mean a working holiday in Australia is not only easier but also much more affordable.

Australia offers working holiday makers the highest after-tax wages compared to competitor countries like Canada and New Zealand.

Government figures show that the number of young UK travellers, including working holiday-makers, increased by 7% to almost 200,000 visitors and expenditure increased by 4% to $1.4 billion, over a 12-month period ending June 2016.

If you’re thinking of travelling abroad this year, be sure to organise your long-haul travel insurance in advance

Date Created: 12 December 2016

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