SmartGate processing soon at Wellington Airport

20-Aug-2009 A new trans-Tasman agreement is set to increase the rewards for New Zealand’s tourism industry. It will result in improvements in the speed of screening and processing of low-risk passengers from Australia. SmartGate technology, which allows self-processing for ePassport holders, will be introduced at Wellington Airport next year - after first being introduced at Auckland airport by the end of the year.

The agreement, announced by Prime Minister John Key today, will see streamlined processes for border processing of trans-Tasman passengers, making Australian travellers’ experience of arriving in New Zealand faster and easier.

“New Zealand is already the most popular destination for Australian travellers, however there is still much potential,” says Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton.

“We have the benefit of being easy to get to as a domestic destination for Australians, but with the added appeal of an international holiday. The new, quicker border procedures will make it easier and more appealing for Australians to come back more than once, to visit different regions and have different experiences.”

Tourism New Zealand runs the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign in this market, along with the ‘What’s On’ campaign. In the last year, this campaign has had a sustained presence in the market year-round, thanks to a $2.5 million funding boost from Government earlier this year. A new round of advertising is due to start this Sunday, encouraging Australians to come here to experience the luxury, outdoor and adrenalin activities New Zealand has to offer, and to visit specific regions of New Zealand.

Tourism New Zealand also ran the ‘Thanks a Million Oz’ campaign in May, tying in with the milestone of the first million Aussie visitors to visit in a calendar year. This competition attracted more than 12,000 entrants.

“As our largest market, Australian visitors are very special to us. These new procedures will help us to further extend a warm welcome to Australians.”

The agreement follows through on a commitment made in March this year by the governments of Australia and New Zealand to ensure that people and goods can move more easily between the two countries.