Interest in Australian working visas among British adolescents is rising, according to recent Google search data analysed by Australia-based tour company Welcome to Travel.
The company reported that searches for the phrase ‘gap year abroad’ had increased by 190% at the end of last month compared to the same period in 2021, and over 1000% since March 2020.
In particular, searches for ‘Australia working visa’ have reached some of the highest levels for the last three years in 2022, with searches at the end of last month higher than March 2019.
Pre-pandemic, the Australian Government granted an average of 200,000 Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visas each year, but Welcome to Travel Co-Founder, Darryl Newby, predicts there will be a much higher number issued in the coming year and beyond.
“After almost two years of no tourists, it is so exciting to see the appetite that young people have for coming to Australia on a gap year and both exploring and working in the country,” Newby said.
“Young people have missed out on a lot of life experiences during the pandemic and I really empathise with them as the travel restrictions quickly upturned any grand plans they had for travelling after finishing school or university.
“Now that Australia has reopened its international borders, we expect to see a lot of pent-up demand for young people visiting the country and predict a huge surge in interest of the Working Holiday Maker visa scheme.”
Welcome to Travel has already seen a 203% increase in tour bookings in the first three months of 2022 compared to the whole of 2021.
Australia lost around 300,000 working holiday makers as a result of the border closure in March 2020, and the absence of these workers resulted in a loss of more than AU$3.2 billion in visitor spending in 2020.