Caravan Industry Association of Australia welcomes Working Holiday Maker initiative to support fire-affected areas
Caravan Industry Association of Australia is pleased to welcome the Government’s initiative to bring more working holiday makers (WHM) to fire-affected areas to help communities in their recovery.
With many areas now rebuilding after the horrific fire season, the new policy allows WHM to work in bushfire zones and work for the same employer for up to a year, with disaster recovery work in these areas also fulfilling the requirement for WHM to apply for a second- or third-year visa.
Stuart Lamont, CEO of Caravan Industry Association of Australia, said the fires had destroyed and affected caravan parks which should be in absolute peak season overflowing with visitors.
“Working holiday makers contribute to the caravan and camping industry tremendously, and the new visa policy will deliver positive outcomes not only to our industry but the entire tourism industry,” he said.
“We welcome the Government’s commitment to supporting the regional communities and businesses.”
“We look forward to working with the government to ensure the caravan and camping industry benefits from the new policy and get back on their feet as soon as possible.”
Caravan Industry Association of Australia estimates up to 3.8 million nights are at risk due to evacuations, lost bookings and cancellations since the beginning of the bushfires.
The extended period of stay of WHM will be significant to the recovery of the industry, as WHM disperse significantly further than other visitor segments and have a higher tendency to spend more per stay in regional Australia.
Across the eight most impacted areas by the bushfires in the past 3 months, WHM have been a crucial part of the tourist mix. Around 64,000 WHM visited these areas and spent almost 1 million nights with $138 million economic benefits 12 months prior to the bushfires.
To help support fire-affected areas, Caravan Industry Association of Australia also launched the Keep on Camping initiative in January.
The ‘Keep on Camping’ initiative is a dedicated digital marketing platform designed to put consumers back in parks and in affected communities without delay.
Keep on Camping helps travellers to make informed travel decisions for getting back in there to spend their money and help those communities reliant on tourism for long term sustainability.
The initiative includes practical information and updates from affected areas, along with calls to action, targeted marketing, travel inspiration and more.