Transport and Access

Australia’s policy settings and transport infrastructure must encourage, and be able to accommodate, greater international visitor numbers through simplified visa processes, technology enhancements to provide efficient border facilitation experiences and sustainable air services and aviation connectivity between Australia and key visitor source or aviation hub markets.

Streamlining visa and passenger facilitation arrangements

Austrade supports the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s work to streamline Australia’s visitor visa processes, influencing policy outcomes to ensure there are benefits for the visitor economy. Recent significant improvements include a trial of online visitor visa lodgement for Chinese, Indonesian and Indian nationals. Austrade also supports a number of visa reforms outlined in the Developing Northern Australia White Paper, including trials to permit visa applications to be submitted in simplified Chinese, fast-tracked application processing (for a fee), and a multiple entry visitor visa valid for 10 years.

Austrade supports the Australian Border Force’s work to improve the facilitation experience for international passengers entering and exiting Australia. SmartGate technology provides a secure and efficient way for eligible passengers to clear passport control and is permanently available to eligible arriving travellers over 16 years of age from Canada, China, France, Hong Kong (SAR of China), Ireland, Japan, Korea, Macau (SAR of China), New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland and Singapore. The Australian Border Force has also commenced SmartGate trials for eligible visitors from Taiwan. SmartGate has been introduced for departing travellers at each of Australia’s eight major international airports. It is available to all travellers irrespective of age and nationality.

Improving air services and aviation connectivity

Austrade works with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to facilitate international visitor growth through nationally consistent regulation and a sustainable aviation system. This in turn supports competition, engenders consumer confidence and provides traveller choice.

Austrade is a delegation member for bilateral air services negotiations and ensures that tourism and trade interests are appropriately considered during discussions. For the year ended March 2016, international carriers operated 22.9 million seats into Australian ports.