Push to open up borders Australia-New Zealand trade borders
THE tourism industry is pushing for free borders between Australia and New Zealand.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland is backing a move by the Tourism and Transport Forum to open the borders between the two countries.
In addition, the Cairns Chamber of Commerce wants Customs and immigration processes simplified between Cairns and Papua New Guinea.
The latest edition of the TTF-MasterCard Tourism Industry Sentiment Survey revealed strong support for a common border.
TTF chief executive John Lee said more than half the respondents indicated that a single-point Customs clearance between Australia and NZ was important to reforming passenger processing from NZ.
"The same proportion (51 per cent) also rates a trans-Tasman visa for foreigners visiting both countries as a very important reform, while 46 per cent rate additional SmartGates as very important," he said.
"TTF believes removing the barriers to travel between Australia and NZ would promote trans-Tasman tourism in both directions, supporting growth in the visitor economies of both countries.
"It would make it easier for international visitors to visit both countries especially important with Australia and NZ to co-host the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015."
TTNQ chief executive officer Rob Giason said NZ was "very much part of Australia" and provided the largest source of tourists to Australia.
He said the Far North had identified NZ as a key part of its growth.
Air New Zealand, which code shares with Virgin, and Jetstar fly between Cairns and Auckland several times a week.
"Anything to make it easier to reach our target of 60,000 a year by 2015 is supported," Mr Giason said.
He said the industry was pushing for more flights, particularly to make Jetstar's seasonal services year-round.
Cairns Airport chief executive officer Kevin Brown said the airport was keen to support any initiatives that removed barriers and eased passenger transfers between Australia and NZ.
"We continue to work closely with Customs, immigration and quarantine," he said.
Cairns Chamber of Commerce CEO Deb Hancock said several members had called for trade and investment with PNG to be as simple as a domestic transaction between NSW and Queensland.
"We support a single-point Customs clearance between Australia and PNGand for trade methods to be simplified," she said.
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Reform passenger processing: TTF chief executive John Lee said more than half the respondents in the TTF MasterCard Tourism Industry sentiment survey said that a single-point Customs clearance between Australia and NZ was vital.