Tourism chiefs object to visa price increase

Australia's economy is given a significant boost by tourists who embark on working holidays across the country each year.

These trips are particularly popular among Europeans, as they give them a way of adding to their overseas travel money, allowing them to stay for longer.

However, visitor numbers may dwindle, as the government is planning to hike the cost of a working visa by 28.6 per cent.

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has urged the authorities to reconsider, as the higher price will inevitably put off a lot of backpackers.

Board member Peter Ovenden said there are already telltale signs that foreigners are spending less time in Australia, particularly in regional areas.

"We cannot afford to give these travellers yet another reason to reduce their spending – or, worse yet, decide not to visit at all," he remarked.

Mr Ovenden was also concerned about figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which highlighted a 5.1 per cent decline in visitors from the UK and other European countries in the September quarter.

He reiterated just how important backpackers and working holidaymakers are to Aussie businesses.

"Analysis undertaken by ATEC this year identified that backpackers, and working holidaymakers in particular, spend considerably more than the average international visitor, staying around eight months and spending over $13,000 each," he added.

Of course, the exchange rate is far less favourable to Britons heading down under than it has been in previous years.

At the moment, one Aussie dollar is worth around 65 pence. The high cost of living is also an issue for a lot of European visitors, so those who do have plans to travel down under will need to ensure their finances are in order.

Whether you are British, Spanish, Chinese, American, Australian or any other nationality, travel credit cards are extremely useful if you are heading abroad.

Rather than carrying a bag full of cash around with you, it is far easier and safer to load all of you cash on to one single piece of plastic.

The cards can be cancelled if they are lost and stolen, which will give people greater peace of mind.

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