A researcher at the Griffith Institute for Tourism has welcomed thegovernment announcement that the introduction of the controversial backpacker tax has been delayed.

Dr Sarah Gardiner encouraged Malcolm Turnbull to go one step further and cancel the plan entirely, saying the ongoing impact of the backpacker market to Queensland and Australia was crucial to the local economy.

“One-third of visitors to Queensland are under 34 years and 15% of visitors to Queensland are aged 15 to 24 years,” she said

“The more attractive we make Australia to backpackers the more they come. The more they come here, the better it is for our economy because what they earn here they also spend here.

“They don’t go home rich. They go home with empty wallets but full of memories of fantastic experiences to share with friends and family.”

Griffith UniDr Gardiner has previously worked with the Gold Coast City Council on a tourism development strategy for the Gold Coast’s youth and backpacker market.

“If they come here young, and have a positive experience, then the potential for repeat visits is multiplied. Often they are hooked for life and share this sentiment with their peers back home.

“A backpacker tax would make Australia less appealing as a work and holiday destination and that has a negative knock-on effect for our tourism industry.”

Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer MP announced a delay in plans to implement a tax on foreign workers this morning, with a ministerial review of labour forces across the country to be undertaken.

Working holidaymakers had been facing a 32 per cent tax from July 1, triggering fears they would turn away from Australia as a travel destination.