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February 2024 Newsletter

Activations & Advocacy

Happy Lunar New Year – it’s the Year of the Dragon, which is set to be a bumper one for success, prosperity and good fortune – may it bring your businesses much of this! Sydney has been pumping with the return of Chinese visitors, along with an influx of Swifties here for Taylor’s sell-out concerts. Hostels have been charging top rates and the cash till will continue to ring with the Mardis Gras parade just around the corner, on 2 March 2024.

Meanwhile, our industry has been represented at the highest levels this week with Wendi Aylward (pictured), Chair of the Backpacker & Youth Tourism Advisory Panel (BYTAP) giving evidence at Federal Parliament on 28 February 2024 at an inquiry into Australia’s tourism and international education sectors. YTNSW is proud to support BYTAP and to have our President, Andy Cowan, on their Committee. Key points advocated for by Wendi around Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) on 417 and 462 visa subclasses included concerns around the possible removal of the option to earn a second or third year visa for doing ‘specified work’ in eligible areas; consideration of increasing the age for all WHMs to 35; increasing or removing caps, and streamlining onerous red tape, for the 462 visa; expanding and fast-tracking agreements with potential new countries; assessing the potential for tourism visa holders to transfer to a WHM visa onshore, and possibly offering former WHMs who have returned home the option to apply for a second visa. Thanks Wendi and BYTAP for all your efforts on behalf of our industry.

Upcoming Events

The new YTNSW Committee had their first meeting this month, planning out lots of member events for the coming year. On the cards are a Golf Day and Long Lunch, Trivia night and the return of the legendary Ball. Meanwhile, save the date for a Byron Bay Open Meeting and networking function from 5pm on Thursday 25 July 2024 – details to follow.

Member Spotlight

Our latest member is LyLo (part of EVT – Entertainment | Ventures | Travel’s growing travel portfolio, which covers luxury to budget accommodation experiences.) Currently operating accommodation in Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown NZ the first LyLo property in Australia is set to open in Brisbane at the end of April 2024. They offer three different styles of accommodation including private, modern pods, en-suite rooms, and design-led multi-use spaces. The new property, in the heart of Fortitude Valley, will also feature a rooftop hangout space with a shared kitchen, self-pouring beer, wine, and cocktails on tap, as well as a bespoke co-working space with free unlimited Wi-Fi and a wellness area. Check out the building’s eye-catching façade displaying a 4-storey First Nations mural celebrating the local flora, fauna, and the Brisbane River. Future LyLo properties are also planned for the Gold Coast and Fremantle – welcome additions for visiting backpackers.

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