UN recommends that Australia should relax tourist visa requirements
The secretary-general of UN World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai said that Australia should lower its tourist visa requirements for people from the developing countries, in order to attract more international visitors.
He thinks that such a move could boost the Australian tourism industry significantly. According to his opinion, there is no evidence which shows that higher requirements are necessary for security reasons. Therefore he proposed that Australia and other developed countries should lower their strict visa regulations.
International tourists from China and India are the main contributors to the growth of Australian tourism during the last decade. Nevertheless, they still face a lot of hurdles when they apply for Australian tourist visas. All foreign citizens who are travelling to Australia for the first time must provide numerous details, such as banks statements, a letter from their employer showing their position and salary and a confirmation that they have been granted time off during their stay in the country.
When foreigners are going to Australia to see their relatives or friends, a letter of invitation coming from the relative of the friend in Australia must be shown to the Immigration Authorities. Many international experts think that the recent fall in the Australian tourism is caused by the stringent visa requirements and not by the rising of the value of the Australian dollar.
According to the Taleb Rifai, the cost plays very little role in the decreasing of the number of visitors that come to Australia. He considers the complications brought about by the visa application procedures as the main factor.
Rifai’s opinion is that if Australia wants to be an internationally competitive destination and to target the new rising giants – China and India, the issue of the sophisticated tourist visa application process should be addressed by the government.