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Australia remains popular with gap year travellers

26 January 2009 11:30

Australia remains popular with gap year travellers

More gap year travellers are heading to Australia, thanks in part to the extension of working holiday visas to two years in 2006.

According to experts at, long-term travellers are increasingly choosing to venture Down Under – with figures suddenly seeing a boost following the changes to visa rules.

Australia has always been a popular destination for gap year travellers with Tom Griffiths, founder of saying that 2007 was a good year for the country's tourism industry.

"STA Travel has reported record numbers of long-haul round the world tickets for 2007, and Australia is the number one destination," he said.

He added: "New Zealand has been doing lots of marketing and it seems to be quite effective. As a destination New Zealand has huge appeal."

Backpackers are being warned, however, that they need to ensure they take out adequate travel insurance even on a two-year trip.

New research from the AA has found that the increasing desire of young people to stay in touch and upload photos means many are travelling with expensive equipment such as mobile phones and laptops.ADNFCR-1320-ID-18447092-ADNFCR