Call to make trans-Tasman tourism less complicated

A RENEWED push for a trans-Tasman border has followed the release of a tourism industry survey that found travellers want crossing the ditch to be less complicated.

More than half of the respondents who took part in the latest edition of the TTF-MasterCard Tourism Industry said a common border and single point customs clearance between Australia and New Zealand was critical to reforming passenger processing.

The same number (about 51%) believed foreigners visiting both countries should be able to apply for just the one visa.

TTF Chief Executive John Lee said removing the barriers to travel between Australia and New Zealand would promote trans-Tasman tourism and increase traffic in both directions.

He said making it easier for international visitors in particular was especially important in the lead up to 2015 when the two countries will co-host the ICC cricket world cup.

The survey found that along with concerns about Visa approval, tourists were becoming increasingly alarmed about heft taxes and charges.

In July, the Passenger Movement Charge went up from $47 to $55 and the cost of working holiday charges is expected to increase by at least 28% in the next year.

Mr Lee said the increases were amplified by the strong Australian dollar but the industry remained "relatively optimistic" about the last quarter and expected domestic tourism to increase in the coming months.


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