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How Important is the Working Holiday Program for Australia really?

Could the Australian economy survive without backpackers?

Could the agricultural industry of Australia survive without backpackers?
Could the agricultural industry of Australia survive without backpackers?

How many Working Holiday Visas does Australia issue every year? How important is the Work and Travel Program for the Australian economy? And how many billions of dollars do backpackers spend in Australia?

After the Australian government has changed the taxes on backpackers, we wanted to know how important the Working Holiday program for Australia really is. We have done our research and are sharing the most interesting statistics.

How many Working Holiday Visas are issued by Australia every year?

The Working Holiday Program of Australia enjoys worldwide popularity. Over the years, more and more visas have been issued.

While only 6,500 visas were issued for Work and Travelers in 1983, it was a total of 256,000 in 2013. In the year 2014, the number of visas was again down for the first time.

Number of yearly issued Working Holiday visas over the years
Number of yearly issued Working Holiday visas over the years

From which Countries do most Working Holiday Makers come from?

The most Working Holiday Makers in Australia come from these countries (number of visas issued in 2014):

  • United Kingdom (51.168)
  • Germany (32.718)
  • France (28.536)
  • Taiwan (27.798)
  • South Korea (26.076)
  • Italy (19.204)
  • Other (61.500)
From which countries do Australian Working Holiday Makers come from?
From which countries do Australian Working Holiday Makers come from?

Are you planning a Working Holiday in Australia? Make sure to read our WHV Guide about it.

How important is the Working Holiday Program for Australian businesses?

The Working Holiday Visa has become of huge importance for some economic sectors in Australia.

In which Sectors do most Backpackers Work?

Most backpackers in Australia work in the hotel and gastronomy industry and in agriculture. These sectors benefit most from the Work and Travel program.

In which sectors find backpackers a job in Australia?
In which sectors find backpackers a job in Australia?

While the farming sectors in rural areas benefits most of Working Holiday Makers, the tourism industry in cities is primarily dependent on the program.

Distributions of WHV jobs according to jobs and region in Australia
Distributions of WHV jobs according to jobs and region in Australia

How Important is the Program for Australian Companies?


For over half of the companies in Australia the WHV plays a very important role for their business.

Importance of the WHV for Australian businesses
Importance of the WHV for Australian businesses

The main Reasons why Backpackers are Employed in Australia

How lazy are Australians really? Almost 60% of the companies say they hire backpackers because Australians don’t want to do the jobs.

Top reasons to employ Working Holiday Makers
Top reasons to employ Working Holiday Makers

40% of all agricultural workers are seasonal workers. A total of 73% of all farms hire mainly backpackers.

Where do Work and Travelers mostly work during their Stay in Australia?

A very interesting statistic: Newcomers in Australia initially prefer to work in cities. The longer they stay in Australia and the more jobs they had, the more likely it is they work in rural areas.

Where do backpackers prefer to work in Australia?
Where do backpackers prefer to work in Australia?

Are you organizing a Working Holiday in Australia? We show you how you can get it done all by yourself with a travel agency.

How much does Australia Earn with Backpackers?

These statistics show how important the backpacker industry has become for Australia.

How much Money do Backpackers Earn and how much do They Spend in Australia?

Working Holiday Makers spend almost three times as much in Australia as they earn with jobs there. On average, men spend 8,900 AUD in addition to their earned income in Australia. For women it is 8,000 AUD.

Average income and spendings of Australian Work and Travellers
Average income and spending of Australian Work and Travellers

How much does Australia Earn on all Working Holiday Makers?

Overall, all Work and Travelers in Australia spend more than 2 billion AUD. For every dollar earned in tourism, 91 cents flow into other economic sectors.

Total spendings in Australia of all Working Holiday Makers
Total spending in Australia of all Working Holiday Makers

Fun Fact: The government of Australia has earned a total of 83,640,000 AUD on visa fees for Working Holiday applicants only (almost 4 AUD per Australian citizen). Is this reason enough to forget to pay a traffic fine?

What do you think? Would Australia survive without backpackers? Tell us in the comments below.

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