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ATIA members asked to raise awareness

The peak industry body is calling on members to ensure their clients are up-to-date on current travel advisories, Janie Medbury writes.

THE Australian Travel Industry Association (ATIA) is asking members to help raise awareness with clients on Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and the New Zealand Traveller Declaration (NZTD).

The Interim Australian Centre for Disease Control has asked for the assistance of ATIA members in ensuring more Australians know how to protect themselves from the risk of MERS, a rare but serious viral respiratory illness that is believed to be spread through contact with camels, camel products or another person with MERS.

Around 84% of cases originate in Saudi Arabia, and so far there have been no cases in Australia. ATIA members can download a MERS information card to pass onto travellers, HERE.

Members are also asked to encourage clients to complete a New Zealand Traveller Declaration when travelling to the country. The NZTD, which collects travel, customs, immigration and biosecurity information, is free and can be started at any time HERE or via the NZTD app.

The form can be submitted no earlier than 24 hours before a person starts their trip to New Zealand, and it must be submitted by the time they reach the destination’s passport control. Additionally, recent changes mean 10-year-olds can now use Customs’ automated eGates on arrival and departure from New Zealand.

Members of the association can access information on both MERS and the NZTD, as well as other important advisories, on the Travel Exchange via ATIA’s website.

“ATIA works closely with Government, Government bodies and related authorities in key markets to promote the Australian Travel sector and the work of our members in making travel as safe and seamless as possible for their clients,” said ATIA Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, Ingrid Fraser (pictured).

“ATIA established the Travel Exchange as a platform for the industry to collaborate and as a channel to share tips, advisories and insights, and we encourage all members to take advantage of this resource.”

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