Single visa being mooted for Australia and New Zealand
Posted on May 4, 2016
Tourism groups of Australia and New Zealand have concertedly called for a single visa to visit both Australia and New Zealand in order to attract more number of visitors to both the countries.
The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF), Australia and Tourism Industry Association (TIA), New Zealand said that a trans-Tasman visa would make long-distance flights to these neighbouring countries more attractive and let both New Zealand and Australia be promoted as a single destination. Both the entities wrote to Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Tourism to endorse their call.
During the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup, jointly held by the two nations, from 26 January to 5 April 2015, an arrangement was worked out to permit visitors to travel to New Zealand with an Australian visa for a duration of three months, according to a joint statement of the industry bodies.
Margy Osmond, TTF Chief Executive, said that one travelled halfway around the globe when visiting either Australia or New Zealand and thus it should be made worthwhile. It would be akin to travelling in Europe when you visit a host of nations on that continent rather than one, she said.
A TTF study conducted in 2014 indicated that a joint visa arrangement could swell the number of foreign tourists to these countries by 141,300 by the year 2020.
Chris Roberts, TIA Chief Executive, concurring with this arrangement, said that the trans-Tasman visa scheme had great potential, as was proved by the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
A review by the New Zealand government of the visa scheme during the Cricket World Cup lasting 39 days, witnessed 7,239 tourists from 77 countries entering New Zealand using Australian visa.
This clarion call given by the tourism bodies of both countries has the potential to drive up tourism to both the countries as claimed.
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