Campaign launched for regional visa for Australia and New Zealand

by Ray Clancy on April 25, 2016

in Australia Travel, General Information

People visiting Australia often end up travelling to New Zealand too and need separate visas for both countries but now a joint travel document could become a reality.

Tourism heads from both countries have launched a campaign for a joint visa and point out that successful events like the Cricket World Cup last year where a temporary regional visa was introduced as a one off shows there would be demand.

They believe that a permanent trans-Tasman visa that would allow international tourists to travel between both countries would make long haul flights to Australia and New Zealand more enticing.

AUSnewzealand

During the Cricket World Cup visitors travelling between 26 January and 05 April 2015 only required an Australian visa to travel over to New Zealand. A three month visa was granted upon arrival in New Zealand to those holding an eligible Australian visa during the period.

The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) and Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) have written a joint letter to the Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection following the temporary visa’s one year anniversary calling for the implementation of a permanent regional visa by the end of 2016.

“Australia and New Zealand are long haul destinations and it makes a lot of sense for us to package the two countries together in a joint regional visa to prospective international tourists who are weighing up the long flight to our countries,” said Margy Osmond, TTF chief executive officer.

“The reality is that if you are coming halfway around the world to Australia or New Zealand you want to make it worth your while, just as travelling to Europe we visit a multitude of countries on that continent not just one,” she explained.

“Seamless travel between Australia and New Zealand for our own citizens and international visitors is a goal we should be strongly pursuing to make our two nations a more attractive destination in what is a cut throat, competitive tourism market,” she added

She pointed out that in 2014 a TTF investigation into the benefits of streamlining the Trans-Tasman border highlighted that a joint visa scheme could increase the number of international visitors to the region by 141,300 people by 2020.

TIA chief executive officer Chris Roberts said the experience during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 proved that a trans-Tasman visa arrangement has tremendous potential to bring more visitors to both countries.

“The New Zealand Government’s review of the visa arrangements during the Cricket World Cup shows that during the 39 days it was in place some 7,239 travellers from 77 nations entered New Zealand using the trans-Tasman visa,” he pointed out.

He also revealed that around 40% of the international visitors who used the arrangement were Chinese, a non-playing nation in the World Cup. “This just goes to show the potential a permanent and cleverly marketed trans-Tasman visa could have in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Roberts.

“It makes sense to invest and market a joint Australia-New Zealand experience to potential international visitors. This is already happening successfully elsewhere, for example the Schengen zone of 28 European countries, where a single visitor visa is required,” he explained.

“Our organisations are encouraging the Australian Government to complete its own review as a matter of urgency and work with the New Zealand Government to put in place a permanent trans-Tasman visa by the end of 2016. The Cricket World Cup has shown it can work, we just need the will of our governments to bring down this travel barrier between our countries permanently,” he added.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Christian May 8, 2016 at 7:41 pm

Hey i wanna work there

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