The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) and Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) welcomes today’s commencement of the historic Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement.

AHA National CEO Stephen Ferguson said the agreement would deliver lasting and significant benefits to Australia’s hotels, pubs, bars, taverns and restaurants.

“This agreement enhances connections between Australia and the UK, one of our largest and oldest trading partners and a country with which our accommodation and hospitality industry has very strong links,” Mr Ferguson said.

“I commend the Federal Labor Government, spearheaded by the Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, for finalising the agreement at a critical point in the recovery of our industry.”

“We particularly welcome reciprocal provisions in the agreement that will allow working holiday makers aged up to 35 years of age to travel between Australia and the UK for up to three years.”

Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson said Australia’s accommodation sector will derive great benefits from having greater access to UK working holiday makers, where workforce requirements cannot be met by locals.

“Australia’s hotels have enjoyed a long history of employing UK backpackers in all parts of the country, including regional and remote areas where employees are difficult to source,” Mr Johnson said.

“There are countless stories of UK working holiday makers being employed in Australian hotels, contributing to the fabric of their local communities and even finding love while they are here.”

“This agreement will see more backpackers travelling down under and making these important contributions, which is fantastic news for hotels and hospitality venues across the country.”

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