Are you one of those travelers who skip international holidays just to avoid the complexities and hassles of immigration procedures at the airport? Well, if you plan to visit Australia in the next few years, we have good news for you!
Technology has evolved quite a lot since humans came into existence. However, the rate at which it has made progress in the 20th and 21st century has been exceptionally rapid. Now the world will even see its first fully mechanized airport.
What? When? Where?
The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection has revealed that Australia is working on a system that would feature contactless passenger identification.
Passport scanners, arrival/departure forms, and immigration counters operated by officers will soon be a thing of the past. Passengers will experience a new facial recognition technology and fingerprint scanning to get themselves identified at major Australian airports.
There will be no need to carry around your documents as arriving passengers will not be required to present their passports to immigration officers. Mechanized electronic stations will be the new immigration officers.
This brand new system is going to make its debut in approximately three years from now. But the Australian government plans to test it out in July this year, at Canberra Airport. It would be launched at Melbourne and Sydney airports later in November. The entire project is said to be completed by March 2019.
Developers say that this will make traveling as smooth and easy as traveling through a domestic sector.
Technology at other international airports vs. Australian airports:
Dr. Coyne said in an interview that Australia was “miles ahead of the majority of countries” with regards to technology used in airports.
Australia introduced a Seamless Traveler five-year initiative in 2015 which offers passengers a quick, self-processing experience and helps the border control officers to focus on other important issues. This system cost AUD 93.7 million to develop.
The JFK airport launched a facial recognition system earlier this year while Washington Dulles International Airport is all set to launch this system later this month.
Western Australia receives more International Visitors
Western Australia is a naturally blessed state of Australia with a rich culture that has witnessed a recent boost in international visitors.
If this year’s tourism data is to be believed, then Western Australia comes second in being visited by more international visitors. The figures say that almost 954,000 people visited WA during last year from around the world, which is almost 12.4% more than the previous year. And, the tourism industry of WA earned up to $2.4 billion, which is up 6% than 2015.
The CEO of the WA Tourism, Gwyn Dolphin, has said that they have faced a lot of struggles during the downward turn in the economy in the past which really impacted the business.
But, now things are looking up!
The WA tourism industry is getting back on the right track. It is also expected to do well in the coming years with an increase in the number of the hotel rooms. The international friendly match between Premier League side Chelsea and Perth Glory may also prove to very beneficial for Western Australia Tourism.
More guests from Asia
Earlier, the United Kingdom would be the major contributor in the international visitors of WA. But, the past year has shown that WA is gaining popularity among the tourists of Asian countries as well such as Malaysia, Singapore, Korea and Thailand.
Gwyn Dolphin says that the results are due to their recent campaigns which were aimed at the emerging Asian markets.
Although the WA Tourism’s national market share had gone down from 13% in 2014 to 12.5% in 2015, the industry is still positive that they will make a comeback with the improving airline connections to the Asian countries such as Japan and Indonesia.
In the past, due to the downward turn in the economy, the business travellers overpowered the leisure travellers. But now the numbers are changing, and the WA Tourism is seeing an increase in the visitors who are travelling for leisure.
It looks like the WA Tourism is going to flourish every year with the effort that the state is putting in.
The Dinosaur Canyon: Australia’s Latest Tourism Venture
The much anticipated Dinosaur Canyon has finally opened in outback Queensland, Australia. It is the latest addition to the ‘Australian Age of Dinosaurs’ museums. It was officially inaugurated by former Governor-General, Dame Quentin Bryce, before a crowd consisting of 150 people on Saturday.
It consists of an open air exhibit consisting of five outdoor galleries, featuring dinosaurs models, fossils and whatnot, along a 300 meter elevated pathway that runs through a gorge. There is also a magnificent building perched on a cliff that overlooks this pathway.
The place is a paleontologist’s paradise. The galleries contain massive bronze reconstructions of dinosaurs, which lived in Australia almost 95 million years ago. This display will give users a thrilling real life experience of what the land must have been like in the past, when dinosaurs walked the earth.
The Dinosaur Canyon, which is the brainchild of founder and Chairman David Elliott, cost around $1.3 million to construct. It was was primarily funded by donations coupled with state, federal and government grants.
In this canyon tour, visitors will enjoy seeing pterosaurs, an encounter between a five-meter-long theropod and two dozen small dinosaurs, armored dinosaurs among several other attractions. It will also throw light on how environment helped in preservation of these fossils through the “Death in the Billabong Exhibit”. Visitors will also be able to collect unique dinosaur tracings.
The Dinosaur Canyon could well become significant in letting people know of Australia’s natural history and how dinosaurs inhabited Australia once upon a time. All people, old and young, will enjoy a day with dinosaurs!
Non-Stop Flight Tickets from UK to Australia
You will soon be able to book a ticket in a non-stop flight from UK to Australia!
The third longest flight in the world
When this flight will be introduced next month by the Qantas, which is a famous Australian airline, it is going to be the world’s third longest flight. The longest flight currently is the flight from Qatar to New Zealand which takes about 16 hours and 23 minutes to land in Auckland, New Zealand from Doha, Qatar covering about 9,031 miles in the process.
This is going to be a flight that breaks records and makes history. Tickets are going to be on sale from next month.
This flight is expected to take about 17 hours to cover a distance of 9,000 miles between London, UK to Perth, Australia.
What does the Qantas CEO have to say about it?
The CEO of Qantas has said in a statement that Australians did not have a direct link to Europe before and this game changing route taken by their aircrafts will now open many gates of opportunities for them to expand.
Premium Economy seats
The third longest flight in the world will also take care of the comfort of its passengers. The flight will introduce the new “Premium Economy” cabin seats. The design of these seats will give sitting comfort to the passengers and help them have a good journey.
How will it help Australian tourism?
By providing a direct non-stop flight, the tourists from the European countries can fly down to Australia in a much more convenient way, hence opening the door of possibilities for the tourism industry.
How much longer do we have to wait?
Well, the tickets will be up for grabs from the next month itself. However, the flight will take off only next year around March.
Get ready to grab the tickets for this historical plane journey!
Australia considers introducing compulsory provisional visas for permanent residency
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), Australia is now thinking of introducing compulsory provisional visas for people migrants wanting permanent residency in Australia. This means that the applicant needs to spend a fixed amount of period in the country before they can be accepted for permanent residency. The DIBP introduced a discussion paper that was to open to the public for submission.
One of the questions in the paper for submission was whether students should be required to spend a little time in the country before they should be eligible to be granted permanent residency. It also asks about what other considerations should be included for the same, as reported by SBS Panjabi.
The number of people applying for permanent residency in Australia has significantly increased in the last 20 years. It has also been noted that between the years 2015-16, about half the population who had permanent residence in Australia were already residing there in Down Under, on temporary residence visa.
Australia has concluded with the fact that it would be in the country’s best interest to allow talented and skilled workers to be preferred for permanent residency in the country.
For most visa categories spending a stipulated period of time in the country to be eligible for permanent residency, is not necessary. The discussion paper states that Australia is not on the same page as other countries alike such as the UK, US and Netherlands. These countries require an applicant to spend a mentioned minimum amount of time in the country for them to be eligible for permanent residency.
The mandatory stay period in Australia would bring in avoidable hassles for those who are residing under temporary visas and would restrict their flow of movement.
Maninder Singh Bhullar, a migrant in Australia had to spend 2 years in the country before acquiring a permanent residence and that it was difficult to find jobs under a temporary visa.
Australia received over 260,000 travelers from India in 2016
The digital visa application for visitors has allowed more Indians to visit Australia. Australia received more than 2.6 lakhs travelers from India in 2016 and is hoping for a turnout of 3 lakhs in 2017. This has mainly taken place because of the rise of Australian dollars exchange rate and various forms of promotional activities. The digital application for visa has brought about a huge difference in the amount of interested visitors to Australia.
The digital growth in arrivals of travelers from India to Australia has increased digitally in the last three years, as noticed by the Country Manger of Tourism Australia from the Gulf and India. Nishant Kashikar. This is the fourth year in a row that had a grow.th of 15.3% of travelers from India. He also mentioned that, there will now an increasing number of Indian travelers who will be encouraged to travel to Australia due to this facility.
Australia has been promoting diverse programs and a steady exchange rate. The Australian dollar has been stable compared to other currencies and this has added to the interest of visit for Indians.
Australia is the longest recession free country in the world and this has been an advantage for the nation. This has helped the country to be on a high level economic situation apart from the growth of Diaspora from India in Australia. It hosted 15.3% people from the overseas and 2.5 lakhs of them were Indians.
Somehow, the bullish sentiment in the market and the consumers wants, synchronize, and this could increase the number of Indian travelers to Australia. There also have been repeat travelers entering the country.
India is the 9th highest visitor source market in Australia, the UK, the US, Singapore, New Zealand and China are on the top of the list. Kashikar stated that India could reach the top 7 by 2025.
Australia to Increase Tuition Fees for Students from New Zealand
It is of no surprise that Australia is considered to a global education hub and students from all over the world flock to its major cities to continue their education. New Zealanders are no exception. However, there has been a recent development which might lead to complications.
The recent update in the Australian immigrant-education system has been a serious blow to students from New Zealand as they will now have to pay more to study in Australian universities. This has upset the Prime Minister of New Zealand significantly, and now he is worried about the impact this may have on the New Zealand students in Australia.
Under the present education policy, most New Zealand citizens are treated like local students in Australia with significant subsidies for their education. This new policy will result in a withdrawal of this subsidy and will require the New Zealand students to pay a full fee amount for their education.
But the up-side is that the students will now have access to student loans which were off-bounds for them previously.
The proposals will need a change of law which has not been passed yet. If it indeed is passed, the new system will be applicable from coming January . However, students already enrolled in various courses will not be affected by this legislation. Foreign Minister, Gerry Brownlee will travel to Australia next week to meet his Australian counterpart, Julie Bishop to discuss the impending changes.
Tim Gassin, the man who spearheads initiatives for the Oz-NZ relationship, said that fees would definitely rise if the changes are implemented. The proposed changes could severely impact students wanting to pursue law or medicine in Australia with fee surges of more than 400 per cent. The fact that student loans are not interest-free in Australia would be a matter of concern too.