Tourism bodies seek single entry tourist visa to Australia and New Zealand
Written By Maryke Wylde
Mon, May 2, 2016
The visa would allow international travellers a single application process and fee for one passport to visit the two countries.
Currently citizens from Australia and New Zealand already have reciprocal work and travel rights, but international tourists need to obtain separate visas for each country.
Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Margy Osmond said the visa was “about growing the pie”.
“We’re both long-haul destinations,” she said. “Let’s invite people down here, give them a joint-visa so they can visit both countries and stay a little longer.”
“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.”
The single Trans-Tasman visa was introduced last year for three months during the 2015 Cricket World Cup. “Lots of hurdles get raised about the systems not being compatible but we just keep coming back to the point that it was tried out during the cricket world cup for three months and it worked,” Tourism Industry Association NZ chief executive Chris Roberts said. During this trial almost 8000 people entered New Zealand through this arrangement with 40 per cent of those visitors from China, despite the country having no competing team.
The groups have written to the Immigration and Tourism Ministers in both countries, requesting the visa be introduced by the end of 2016.
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