Australia

New tourism video aims to lure more backpackers Down Under

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A new ad campaign is aiming to lure more backpackers to Australia as the government admits the number of arrivals has stagnated in recent years.

The federal government is hoping a new tourism campaign aimed at backpackers from the United Kingdom, France and Germany lures more working holiday makers and boosts the economy.

Announcing the new TV campaign on Saturday, Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham admitted the number of backpackers arriving in the country has stagnated.

The campaign video launched on Saturday will run in the United Kingdom, France and Germany and hopes to re-engage young foreigners on the benefits of working while holidaying in Australia.

Senator Birmingham acknowledged the campaign was aiming to "repackage" the message towards backpackers.

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham
Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham
AAP

"Those numbers (arrivals) have been a little stagnate and flat lately and what we want to do is make sure we rebuild that because those working holiday makers spend around $3 billion while they’re here," he told the Seven Network.

"They basically spend every cent they earn."

Farmers have complained that the growing shortage of seasonal workers to pick fruit and vegetables is harming the sector.

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Simon Birmingham on tourism
Simon Birmingham on tourism

Quarterly figures from the Department of Home Affairs shows there were 145,479 working holiday makers as at December 2018, compared to 146,431 in the same period last year, December 2017.

But the numbers dropped substantially between March 2017 and September 2017 when it went from 150,059 to 136,925, during which the backpacker tax came into effect.

The government last year announced it would ease time limit restrictions on working holiday makers allowing them to spend more time in Australia.

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The changes allow backpackers to stay with one employer for up to a year, rather than six months as well as being allowed to renew their visas for a second year, and sometimes a third.

The government last year announced it would ease time limit restrictions on working holiday makers allowing them to spend more time in Australia.

The changes allow backpackers to stay with one employer for up to a year, rather than six months as well as being allowed to renew their visas for a second year, and sometimes a third.

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