Posted on 12. Feb, 2015 in News
Tony Abbott is ignoring one of our key international visitor markets by failing to simplify visa processing for Chinese visitors.
The Abbott Government must fast track visa reforms to streamline visa processing, making it easier for Chinese visitors to come to Australia.
China is our most valuable inbound market with enormous growth potential and is critically important for the Victorian economy. In 2014 record numbers of Chinese visitors contributed $1.3 billion to the Victorian economy, more than the UK, New Zealand and Malaysia combined.
The Chinese market is the biggest source country for visitor visa applications, and figures show that by 2018, Chinese nationals could make up to one million visa applications to visit Australia annually.
Reports released late last year clearly show we are lagging behind our international competitors like the UK, USA and Canada who have already moved to simplify visa processing for Chinese nationals and are experimenting with products like fast tracked VIP visitor visas.
Australia needs to rapidly improve the time, cost and administrative processes for Chinese visitors seeking visas for Australia. The Abbott Government must expand the eligibility for online lodgement, speed up the rollout of electronic visas and extend multiple entry three year visas for Chinese business visitors.
If Tony Abbott is serious about tourism and engaging with China, he’ll move to implement these reforms as soon as possible.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren
“China is our most valuable inbound market and is critically important for the Victorian economy”.
“The Chinese market is the biggest source country for visitor visa applications. The strong growth of the Chinese market must be supported by a visa system that is flexible, fast and accessible”.
“The Abbott Government should listen to the Victorian Tourism Industry and act by issuing urgent reforms to rapidly improve the time, cost and administrative processes for Chinese visitors wanting to come to Australia”.