The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has submitted a pre-budget to Treasury with recommendations for the country to introduce a “visa for life” program that will authorize repeat travellers who have maintained a clean record to enter the country without having to obtain a visa on each visit.
Peter Shelley, the Managing Director at ATEC, commended the government’s multiple entry visa program but added that the program should be made even better.
He argued that most of Australia’s neighbours in Asia mostly take decisions at the last minute, so they just up and decide to spend the weekend in Australia even while in Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia. There are travel lovers who are like that.
The backlog of unprocessed visas is a problem
Shelley explained that ATEC is concerned that Australia is losing out on a bustling tourism sector because of the backlogs of yet to be processed visa applications.
He went on to say that more resources should be employed to create a faster visa processing system, especially in handling the influx of tourists that come in from China and India.
In addition, ATEC is demanding that an extra $60 million be allocated to Tourism Australia to help it compete with that of other countries. According to ATEC, part of that allocation should be invested in the training of tourism operators.
It is true that the industry has commended the upgrading of the airports for including smart gates and facilities for facial recognition; it is hoping that the government would work towards introducing a “passport-free” entry into Australia by 2030 to give travelers a smoother travel experience.
Shelley was convinced that bad travel experience, especially if experienced during the departure, it sits longer in the mind of the traveler. It doesn’t matter whether the traveler had a swell holiday.
By 7:30 pm (AEST), the federal government, will land out the budget.
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