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Indian tourists urged to go online for holidays in Australia.



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Senator Amanda Vanstone MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS

Media Centre

Indian Tourists Urged to Go Online for Holidays in Australia

21 March 2006

An Australian holiday will soon just be a few mouse clicks away for jet-setting Indians.

With tourism from India a growing market, the introduction of the electronic tourist visa, e676, will enable Indians to obtain their visas online.

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Amanda Vanstone, said the visa would provide access to an easier visa application system for one of the Australian tourism industry’s growth markets - Indian holiday-makers.

‘The system will deliver quicker visa decisions for Indian tourists and it will encourage more Indian tourists to visit Australia,’ Senator Vanstone said.

Indian citizens lodging a visa application online through an approved ‘Aussie Specialist’ travel agent would not need to submit paper forms or send their passports through the mail.

Instead they would be able to apply over the internet through an approved agent.

‘Work is underway to provide this improved access in the last quarter of 2006. Access will initially be granted via approved travel agents only, with a broader roll-out to more agents over time,’ Senator Vanstone said.

The number of tourist visas granted in the last five years has risen from 27,390 in 2000-01 to 33,700 in 2004-05.

The e676 visa is available in 46 countries and regions, including the European Union, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the 34 countries using Australia’s electronic travel authority online visa approval system.

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URL: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au /media_releases/media06/v06034.htm Last update: 22 March 2006 at 14:49 AEST