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QLD_CP_NEWS_TRAVEL_PLANS_14JUN19

Changing times for today’s backpackers

Wet T-shirt contests and Jägerbombs are taking a back seat to an "immersive" travel experience in Gen Y backpackers according a report released this week.

Hostelworld's Evolution of the Hostel Traveller report dispelled common stereotypes associated with young travellers.

It found partying is less popular - in its place, volunteering and venturing off the beaten track is becoming more prevalent.

A recent survey by a hostel company has found that more young travellers are taking the slow route, working and volunteering in places they visit. Rocio Merino from Spain has found temporary work at the Sheraton Mirage at Port Douglas, and spent a day off at the Cairns Esplanade lagoon with her friends. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
A recent survey by a hostel company has found that more young travellers are taking the slow route, working and volunteering in places they visit. Rocio Merino from Spain has found temporary work at the Sheraton Mirage at Port Douglas, and spent a day off at the Cairns Esplanade lagoon with her friends. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Also revealed is the rise of slow travel, a term which refers to a new mindset for the modern-day backpacker exploring the world.

Rather than trying to squeeze in as many sights and experiences as possible, slow travel is about taking the time to unearth the destination properly and immerse yourself in local culture.

It is an approach that 25-year-old Spanish traveller Rocio Merino, currently enjoying the Far North, can relate to.

"We have made friends in Port Douglas and visit the Daintree and do things we know we cannot do in other places," she said.

"And we have learnt about some (secret spots) because local people have told us."

Young tourists Andrea Fernandez, Marianna Garcia, Rocio Merino and Santiago Facco have all found temporary work at the Sheraton Mirage resort at Port Douglas, and spent a day off together at the Cairns Esplanade lagoon. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Young tourists Andrea Fernandez, Marianna Garcia, Rocio Merino and Santiago Facco have all found temporary work at the Sheraton Mirage resort at Port Douglas, and spent a day off together at the Cairns Esplanade lagoon. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Visiting Australia for a year, Ms Merino works at the Port Douglas Sheraton Mirage as a waitress.

She said being in one place for an extended period had improved her Australian travel experience.

Gilligan's Backpacker Hotel and Resort operations manager Theo Comino said he has noticed a change in the travel preferences of young travellers.

"I have spoken to a few people from North America who come and do social work or volunteer work," he said.

"Those on a working visa try and find jobs. If they can find a job then they can immerse themselves in the area."



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