Published on : Thursday, September 4, 2014
A new single visa that can be used by fans visiting Australia and New Zealand for the 2015 Cricket World Cup will be a boost for the tourism industry, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) says.
TIA’s Policy and Research Manager Simon Wallace says the new visa arrangement will make the process simpler and cheaper and encourage more visitors to travel between the two countries for the duration of the tournament.
The Cricket World Cup is being held over February and March next year. It will involve 14 teams playing matches in both Australia and New Zealand.
“Visitors from cricket nations such as India and Pakistan will be able to apply for one visa for both Australia and New Zealand, saving time and money and streamlining the whole experience,” Mr Wallace says.
The arrangement will also allow for people already in Australia on most permanent or temporary visa types to come to New Zealand. By way of example, Indian students studying in Australia will be able to use their existing Australian visa to come to New Zealand.
TIA, along with its counterpart in Australia, the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF), has been lobbying both the Australian and New Zealand governments for some time on the benefits of a single visa for the event.
“We want to congratulate both governments and their officials for the determined work they have done to achieve this arrangement,” says Mr Wallace.
The common visa was signalled by Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and John Key in March this year.
Between 26 January and 5 April 2015, New Zealand will grant a visitor visa on arrival to all visitors who already hold an acceptable Australian visa.
TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says today’s confirmation of the single visa supports recent progress by Immigration New Zealand to streamline visa processes for travellers, including the recently announced availability of online applications for student and working holiday visas.
Improving the border experience for international visitors, including visa facilitation, is one of the key actions identified in Tourism 2025 to help increase the tourism industry’s contribution to New Zealand’s economy.
TIA has also highlighted the importance of reducing barriers to travel to New Zealand in the 2014 Tourism Election Manifesto.