Tourism chiefs want backpackers to stay in Australia for longer

Travel leaders believe that backpackers will spend more of their overseas travel money in Australia if they are granted extended working visas.

Felicia Mariani of the Australian Tourism Export Council told that there are plenty of job vacancies in the tourism sector that could be filled by people who are travelling around Australia.

She stated that the average backpacker will spend $5,400 during a three-month period in the country, whereas this could rise to $13,000 if they are given an eight-month working visa.

However, Ms Mariani insisted that measures need to be taken to make Australia more attractive to foreigners, as the strength of the dollar is putting many people off at present.

"There are 36,000 tourism vacancies right across this country at this very moment and by 2015 that is projected to go up to 56,000 vacancies," she told the news provider.

Figures published last week by Tourism Research Australia indicated that in the year ending September 2011, the average tourist spent $3,380 down under.

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