The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has announced it will launch a new and improved Smartraveller website next month, which will include an improved system for receiving travel advice updates and a new approach to registration.
Smartraveller, which is operated by DFAT, is the Australian government’s travel advice and consular information service. The service maintains travel advisories for more than 170 destinations around the world and allows users to subscribe for free travel updates at any time.
Along with making travel advisories easier to read and navigate, travellers will soon be able to receive all travel advice updates simply by using their email address to subscribe.
DFAT will also offer a new option to receive SMS ‘critical alerts’ in a crisis.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is committed to helping Australians in difficulty overseas, including those impacted by a crisis,” a spokesperson for the department told Travel Weekly.
Smartraveller’s registration service is also changing.
From November, registration will only be activated when there is an overseas crisis, which DFAT believes will allow it to respond more quickly to those who need help.
DFAT has also advised registration will be easier, through a simplified online form. This will appear on the Smartraveller website if there’s an overseas crisis.
Travellers will no longer need to register their travel with DFAT before leaving Australia, but for those travelling before November, they can still register their details.
Travellers can still call DFAT if they are need of urgent help on 1300 555 135 (in Australia) or on 02 6261 3305 (from overseas).
Current subscribers will need to resubscribe when DFAT launches its new Smartraveller website.