09 July 2008

Australian travel visas still up for grabs for World Youth Day

Organisers of the World Youth Day (WYD) in Sydney are still waiting for thousands of applications for Australian visas to meet the expected target of 125,000 overseas visitors.

WYD is the largest youth event in the world and is organised by the Catholic Church.  With the celebrations set to kick off next Tuesday July 15, tourism experts are questioning whether the visitor numbers on an Australian visa will meet organisers’ expectations, or if the economic outcome will reach forecasts from the Government, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The State Government has predicted the event will generate between $152 million and $193 million, while the Chamber of Commerce estimate over $200 million will be injected into the local economy.  The Government has been criticised for putting too much money themselves into the event, as it is still unsure how many visitors will actually attend or what will be the actual economic benefits generated by the increased tourism.

The Immigration Department is still waiting for tens of thousands of international visitors to apply for a visa for Australia.  All short-term travellers to Australia are required to apply online for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) visa, provided you are from the list of eligible countries as specified by the Australian Government.  New Zealand nationals are not required to apply for an ETA visa, and it is expected that thousands from across the Tasman will attend the event, and many more overseas visitors from other countries will apply at the last minute for an ETA visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

Travellers to Australia can apply online for an ETA visa with the Australian Visa Bureau.

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