Tourism

DFAT urges Aussies to renew their passports now to avoid hefty wait times

The Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs (DFAT) is urging Australians to renew their expired passports or face lengthy wait times when international travel returns.

The department said more than 1.3 million passports have expired during the COVID-19 pandemic and 600,000 citizens delayed applying for their first passport, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

In fact, DFAT has sent about 1.4 million emails and texts this year to remind Australians to renew their passports.

A spokeswoman from DFAT told The Australian there was a significant increase in applications ahead of travel restrictions lifting in both the UK and the US, resulting in long wait times for keen travellers.

In July, Americans who needed to apply for or renew their passports faced wait times of up to 18 weeks, according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, the UK government is advising applicants to allow for up to 10 weeks’ wait time.

“While the department is doing everything it possibly can to prepare for a similar eventuality, longer than usual processing times cannot be ruled out,” the DFAT spokeswoman said, adding that some countries won’t allow visitors to enter on a passport that expires in less than six months.

Travel Weekly has contacted DFAT for further comment.

Australia’s international travel ban is set to lift in mid-November; however, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said NSW could allow international travel as soon as the end of this month.

Morrison said the NSW government is looking for ways to fast-track home quarantine in November.

Qantas has scheduled international flights to resume from 14 November, beginning with services to London and Los Angeles, followed by a spate of other routes from 18 December.

The airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce, said he is expecting major pent-up demand from Australians keen to book overseas holidays.

“People are clearly keen to travel. We saw a 175 per cent spike in web searches in the week after we announced our plans, and we’ve seen strong bookings for December and January for our flights to London, Los Angeles and Singapore in particular,” Joyce said.


Featured image source: iStock/angeloNZ


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Hotels

Historic Melbourne hotel gets multi-million dollar makeover

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne has had a modern makeover that pays homage to its turn-of-the-century origins.  

Share

CommentComments

News

“We will not be pursuing ‘Omicron zero'”: NSW and Victoria vow to keep borders open

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said he and his NSW counterpart Dominic Perrotett have been texting about this fandangled ‘Omicron zero’ situation, with both giving the strategy a thumbs down emoji.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Sri Lanka Tourism invites investors to cash in with huge incentives

The island nation’s government has made it easier to invest in tourism projects, and they reckon there are big bucks to be made. That is, if you have a spare $71K laying around.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

The best bits of Wendy Wu’s Worldwide Sale

The sale includes coveted cherry blossom and autumn leaves departures on Japan trips so tell your clients to start saving up their yen now.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Say namaste: Qantas’ first India flights in almost a decade take to the skies

Meanwhile, the Flying Kangaroo’s Points Auction continues apace with a private jet experience set to go under the hammer.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Bannisters opens new Bawley Point retreat, The Jackson Ranch

Got a client who has always wanted to say “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…” in a literal sense? Book them a stay in this hidden gem.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AFTA updates campaign encouraging members to contact local MPs

Want to give your local MP a piece of your mind but don’t want to get kicked out of their office for shouting profanities? Click here.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Tourism

Travel Agents

Digital travel ad impressions up 40 per cent says Nielsen Ad Intel

Looks like your marketing team’s efforts are paying off, with ads views climbing dramatically in Australia following the most recent lockdown.

Share

CommentComments

News

Tourism

OMICRON: WHO urges those over 60 to cancel travel plans as SA tightens restrictions

The UN health authority warned countries that blanket bans don’t work, while an Aussie epidemiologist says the government’s current restrictions won’t make much difference.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Planeterra launches holiday fundraising for community tourism

Not sure what to get your colleague for Secret Santa? They’ll be hard-pressed to complain about a donation in their name to support community tourism projects.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WATCH: Rebel Wilson stars as glam castaway in new Tourism Fiji ad

The Aussie actress channels Tom Hanks’ Castaway in this latest campaign for Tourism Fiji, However, we’re not convinced Hanks could pull off the metallic dress as well as Wilson does.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Club Med opens first Canada property, reveals plans for new Utah ski resort

Those who enjoy the ease of an all-inclusive resort stay will be stoked to learn about Club Med’s latest spate of winter wonderland offerings.

Share

CommentComments