Streamlined visa arrangements will assist both Australia and New Zealand to capitalise on the tourism opportunities that will flow from co-hosting the 11th ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015.
The Australian and New Zealand governments' agreement allows international visitors attending the World Cup the convenience of applying for a visa only once in order to be granted entry into both countries.
New Zealand's Associate Tourism Minister Todd McClay participated in a meeting today of Australia's tourism ministers in Melbourne hosted by federal tourism minister Andrew Robb. They discussed ways Australia and New Zealand can work together to maximise the tourism opportunities stemming from the tournament.
Mr Robb said the streamlined visa arrangements would add a new level of convenience for visitors looking to attend matches across both countries.
"It provides the flexibility for tourists to freely move between both Australia and New Zealand for the World Cup. This is a major international sporting event which will bring major benefits for our tourism and hospitality sectors," he said.
Fourteen cities across Australia and New Zealand will host 49 ICC Cricket World Cup matches over February and March of 2015 and all of these cities will benefit from a major influx of international visitors. The first semi-final will be played at Auckland's Eden Park while the final will be played at Melbourne's MCG on 29 March.
Mr McClay said both countries will share in the benefits of being host nations.
"Next year, seven New Zealand cities will host ICC World Cup games, and we welcome the opportunity to again showcase our wonderful country to the world and work with Australia to capitalise on the tourism and other economic benefits of staging this event," he said.
"Australia and New Zealand look forward to welcoming the international cricketing community next year."
Chief Executive of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Local Organising Committee, John Harnden, welcomed the support from the Australian and New Zealand Governments.
"This is a real coup for fans travelling to Australia and New Zealand to witness the world's best players compete in the biggest sporting event of 2015. We've made sure the event is affordable, with more than two thirds of all tickets $50 or under," Mr Harnden said.
"Children's tickets are available for every match in the tournament including the final. All children's tickets for the pools stage are $5 and prices for adults start from just $20.
"The integrated visa process will make it easier for fans to follow their teams and catch all the action as well experience the many tourist offerings in both countries."
Austrade, in partnership with state and territory governments, will also stage a series of business events around the World Cup under its Match Australia initiative. This forms part of the Australian government 'sports diplomacy' program.
This will include the hosting of international business delegations and networking events. Match Australia leverages international sporting events to enhance relationships between Australia and participating countries across trade, investment, education and tourism.
New Zealand Associate Minister for Tourism Todd McClay and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb with the ICC World Cup trophy in Melbourne today.
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