Backpacking around Australia is a rite of passage for thousands of British youngsters every year, but now many are turning their backs on their backpacks.
The number heading down under has dropped by almost 20% in the last two years.
The high Australian dollar, economic uncertainty at home and university tuition fees have made Australia too expensive a destination for many cash-strapped travellers.
Todd Baker, who runs a small backpacker tour company in Melbourne, told Sky News bookings are significantly down.
"The industry is close to crisis. I'd say another couple of years and we are going to be losing a lot more (business) because a lot of small operators like myself will find it harder and harder to survive," he said.
The number of international travellers staying in hostels fell by almost 7% over the past two years, down from 593,000 per year in March 2010, according to Tourism Research Australia.
Backpackers are an important part of the Australian economy spending around £4,000 each and contributing £2bn in total to the economy.
"Today's backpackers are often tomorrow's high rollers, coming back to Australia down the track, often with their families, so it is critical that we work hard now to deliver the best of first impressions," Tourism Australia's managing director Andrew McEvoy said.
British backpackers used to regularly fill buses heading to Pin Oak Court, the real name of the Melbourne cul de sac better known as Ramsay Street from the soap opera Neighbours.
Now the buses are more likely to be just a third full as young British fans of the show stay away.
The industry is fighting back though. The general manager of Melbourne's Urban Central hostel, Jason Whiting, said accommodation has to give extra value.
"We offer tea, coffee, rice and pasta for free all day as well as various packages to lessen that spend so it's not such a hard hit when you come over."
The hostel has rooms more like those you would see in a hotel and is part of a growing trend to change the face of backpacker accommodation from the traditional image of cramped dormitories and poor facilities.
And there is some positive news.
The number of working holiday visas being taken up in Australia increased by 7% in the 12 months ending in June, according to the Department of Immigration.
Backpackers may have realised earning Australian dollars could be the best way of seeing this expensive country instead of simply spending all their savings on their travels.