The Backpacker Youth Tourism Advisory Panel (BYTAP) is appointed for a two-year term and provides valuable insight into sector-specific issues, represents the interests of youth focused products and facilitates an active policy debate forum. 

By raising the profile of the sector within the broader tourism industry, BYTAP leds the way in highlighting the signficant value this sector adds to the overall Australian visitor economy.



  • Act as the critical link between the backpacker industry, the states and territories and the ATEC National Board and government in the interpretation of segment-specific issues
  • Represent the interests of the backpacker segment to the ATEC National Board, industry organisations, government and the community
  • Facilitate an active and effective policy forum where key industry stakeholders present issues for development and action
  • Raise the profile of the backpacker tourism sector
  • Lead the way in the on-going development of growth strategies to maximise the contribution of the backpacker market to Australia.


There are a number of Backpacker Operator Associations (BOA’s) around Australia that have been established to represent and address issues and interests of local operators and to nurture a collective approach to attracting international and domestic travellers to their respective state.

ATEC’s Backpacker Youth Tourism Advisory Panel works closely with each of the BOA’s to ensure challenges of national interest are addressed in a cohesive manner and to collectively grow the international inbound backpacker sector to Australia. Read more about BYTAP's advocacy efforts here .

BYTAP strongly recommends you to join your local BOA which will connect members to regional and state issues, activities and opportunities. You should also stay informed: the BYTE is the sector's must-read e-news that covers all issues facing the backpacker and youth sectors. Make sure you subscribe to The BYTE here.

Tourism Australia has a number of marketing initiatives specifically targeting the youth segment and working holiday visa makers. Click here to visit the Tourism Australia website. 

State and Territory Tourism Organisations (STO's) can also provide information on how to get involved in international marketing activities. 


BYTAP consists of eight members: two accommodation operators, two transport / tour operators, two distributors, one BOA/state backpacker organisation representative and one media/communications representative.  The Panel may also second representatives from time to time, given various needs and/or expertise.

2016 Panel

Accommodation Representatives:

 Mr Julian Ledger , CEO YHA Australia

 Mr Brendan McKenna , General Manager, Base Backpackers

Tour / Transport Representatives

 Mr Kerry Tate , Sales Manager UK/Europe Topdeck

 Mr Craig "Hassie" Haslam  , Managing Director Nullarbor Traveller

Distribution Representatives

 Ms Wendi Aylward , CEO American Institute for Foreign Study

 Ms Joanna Burnet , CEO VisitOz

BOA / State Backpacker Organisation Representative

  Mr Mark Baldwin , BOA NSW & Bounce Backpackers

ATEC Representative

 Ms Anna Taylor, National Manager Membership & Policy, ATEC