Brits seeking ‘gap year’ lead to surge in online searches for WHM visas

Interest in Australian work visas among British teenagers is growing, according to recent Google search data analyzed by Australian travel agency Welcome to Travel.

The company said 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 by more than 1000% since March 2020.

In particular, searches for “Australian work visa” reached some of the highest levels in three years in 2022, with searches at the end of last month higher than in March 2019.

Before the 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 across the country. coming year and beyond.

“After almost two years without tourists, it’s so exciting to see the appetite of young people to come to Australia for a gap year and both explore and work in the country,” said Newby.

“Young people have missed out on many life experiences during the pandemic and I really empathize with them as the travel restrictions quickly upended any big plans they had to travel after finishing school or college.

“Now that Australia has reopened its international borders, we expect to see strong pent-up demand from young people visiting the country and anticipate a huge uptick in interest in 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 holidaymakers following the border closures in March 2020, and the absence of these workers led to a loss of over A$3.2 billion in visitor spending in 2020 .

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