Visitor’s Opal card an imminent essential

Visitor’s Opal card an imminent essential

While most NSW locals have now ditched the old paper tickets and moved into the future with the Opal card, visitors still aren’t feeling the love.

The Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) has just released its agenda for the tourism industry, and in it, they call for prepaid one, three, and five day visitor travel cards.

On top of that, TTF is calling for the Visitor Opal card to combine unlimited public transport with tickets to Sydney’s hottest attractions, killing two birds with one stone.

TTF’s chief executive Margy Osmond said while the Opal card has had stellar success for locals, it’s time to take it to the travellers.

“A Visitor Opal could offer different and unique products tailored to the needs of visitors – for example, unlimited travel across the network for set periods of time,” Osmond suggested.

“One, three or five day unlimited passes would encourage visitors to see more of Sydney and spread the benefit of their visit right across our city.

“The old system was based around ten trips per week – one for getting to and from work each day – but the TravelTen also presented an easy-to-grasp product for visitors. By contrast, the Opal card is encouraging people to use public transport outside of these ten trips, to get around on the weekend, to go to the shops, and to travel to meetings. It is not currently very easy for non-residents to buy or understand.

“However, as a first step, the Opal card should be available for both public and private ferry services in order to enhance the offering of an Opal visitor product and encourage a fair, competitive environment.”

Osmond also pitched the idea of a more sophisticated system of integrating tickets, where visitors can see more than just the inside of a bus.

“Visitors should be able to purchase tickets to major attractions using their Visitor Opal card and receive additional benefits like the discounts offered through Melbourne’s myki card. Simplifying access to these attractions would make life easier for visitors and bring NSW up to worlds-best practice.”

“Specific Opal products for business events like conventions or exhibitions should also be introduced. The availability of unlimited transport for the duration of an event would significantly improve Sydney’s offering in what is a very competitive international market.

“This type of temporary, event-specific travel card is already under consideration in Queensland, where a G20 GoCard was distributed to attendees and media delegates to facilitate their stay and promote the event.”

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