Most backpackers who visit Australia consider it to be a safe, tolerant destination with high quality service but those with negative opinions hold those views strongly according to an independent poll of 532 backpackers.
The survey was conducted by TNT Magazine and Global Gossip on behalf of the Backpacker Tourism Advisory Panel (BTAP) and presented at the ATEC Backpacker and Youth Industry Conference in Hobart today.
Some 82 per cent of those questioned said Australia had an excellent or very good reputation for safety while only two per cent rated it as poor and none answered very poor.
Meanwhile, 71 per cent rated the quality of service excellent or very good and 65 per cent said Australians were tolerant of other cultures.
Fifty eight per cent said their hostel accommodation was excellent or very good, 66 per cent said the same of tours while 52 per cent rated backpacker travel agents the same. However a significant number (17 per cent) rated tours poorly.
While 80 per cent would consider another trip to Australia (50 per cent to live and work on a long term basis) and 90 per cent would recommend the destination to other travellers, a significant number described it as expensive and work hard to come by when given the opportunity to offer their thoughts on travelling in Australia.
Negative comments included:
“Has a lot going for it but the further into the suburbs you go the more retarded, backward and racist people get.”
“Some of the people I met while living in rural Australia (Queensland outback), while very friendly and kind, were seriously racist and homophobic and generally ignorant. There are ignorant people everywhere in the world but I met a few here that took my breath away.”
“I have been threatened by many young Australian men who seem to think starting on backpackers is a good idea…pretty pathetic.”
“Friendly people even though you meet wankers every now and then. Been bashed once and so has my friend, for no reason that is.”
“Expensive and should be free internet like in other Asian countries because it costs a lot of money.”
“Next time I’ll just go travelling, instead of work and travel. It’s just annoying to fight for jobs and lose them because people don’t need or want you anymore. There are too many backpackers around so there is hard competition for jobs. I did fruit picking and it was quite good but the other jobs were more like slavery. Really bad pay for hard work.”
“Very awesome place to travel but because there’s a lot of backpackers, it can be very hard to find work.”
The poll was conducted in Global Gossip locations nationwide between April 4 and 9.
To view the survey in full, click here.