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ETA makes it easier for people from Japan to visit or conduct business in Australia

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Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600.......... Telephone (06) 277 7860; Facsimile (06) 273 4144

MPS 87/96

ETA makes it easier for people from Japan to visit or conduct business in Australia

The first group of Japanese visitors to be issued with DIMA's (Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs) new electronic travel authority, the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), landed at Sydney's International Airport today.

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Mr Philip Ruddock, said that the introduction of the ETA in Japan was a top priority because of the country's importance as a tourism source country and its potential as an expanding market.

The ETA already operates in Singapore and the United States and is expected to be introduced in the United Kingdom, Western Europe and other high volume tourism source countries in Asia during the first half of 1997.

"Australia welcomed more than 800,000 visitors from Japan last year, bringing around $4 billion dollars into the Australian economy annually," said Mr Ruddock.

"In an increasingly competitive market, ETA will make it easier for people from Japan to conduct business, travel or take a holiday in Australia."

The ETA enables passengers to be pre-cleared for single or multiple journeys to Australia, at the same time as booking flights and making other travel arrangements, through the travel agent or airline. Authority to travel is granted in seconds through an ETA computer link between the agent and the DIMA mainframe in Australia, without having to make a written application.

The group of 11 travellers were welcomed to Australia by Eric Brookbanks, Assistant Secretary Business Branch, DIMA and Mr Derek Baines, Manager National Business Development, QANTAS. As Australia's flag carrier, Qantas has been an enthusiastic participant in the development of the ETA.

Also on hand to welcome the group were Mr Masatsune Suko, Managing Director of Kintetsu International, Sydney and Mr Kikukawa, the Assistant Manager Group Tours. Kintetsu International is one of the largest travel agencies in the world and the agency that arranged the travel for the group

Media inquiries: Ed Killesteyn DIMA (06) 264 2468, or 0419 266 586 (mobile)

18 December 1996

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