Launch of the Smartraveller campaign
And I’m sure if any of you have travelled, you’ll probably have come across the smartraveller website as a place full of information on destination, then as a place to check for travel advisories. But for those of you who are here to learn more, we have Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, who will be able to give you further insight into what smartraveller is all about and why a smartraveller is a safe traveller. The State Department of Foreign Affairs has been running the smartraveller service for some years now and as a result, we’ve been working on how to improve the system more and more and more. Particularly as we now have a couple of million more Australians who are travelling than were before. First thing we’re doing through these ads that you see here is that we’re going to run a national advertising campaign to make sure that people become smart travellers, that they register with the smartraveller.gov.au website. We’re only off to see the rellies [relatives]. Caroline insists that we register our plans on the smartraveller website. Well, it’s a good thing she did. We were there when the earthquake hit. But of course smartraveller knew where to find us, we were amongst some of the first contacted. We called the kids in Oz and soon we were heading home. Even if you are visiting rellies, make sure you visit smartraveller first and register your travel plans. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s smart. smartraveller.gov.au Every traveller, every trip. Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra. The second thing that we ask people to do is not just register with the smartraveller.gov.au website and for us to advertise that. It’s also reading what travel advice we provide to people on the road. We were off for a family holiday and a friend said that I should subscribe to that smarttraveller website before we left. Well, lucky I did. While checking my emails, I got a warning about the civil unrest. Well ’cause we knew early, we changed our plans and flew somewhere else instead. Now, wherever we go, we make sure we go to smarttraveller. There’s always something useful and it’s free. smartraveller.gov.au Every traveller, every trip. Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra. The third ad encourages travellers to take out adequate and proper travel insurance. This is really important. Anyone these days who thinks that travel insurance is an optional extra frankly has got rocks in their head. It is just a really dumb thing to do. The really smart thing to do, the smartraveller thing to do, is to make sure that you’ve got proper travel insurance when you travel around the world. I was off backpacking in Thailand, the gap year adventure. My friend recommended smartraveller but what do I need with some government website? Good thing I checked. One of the tips was to get travel insurance, which I wasn’t going to do. I came off a motorbike in Chiang Mai and had to be flown home. Without insurance, I’d have come back with a 24 grand bill [24,000] and wouldn’t be going anywhere for a while. smartraveller.gov.au Every traveller, every trip. Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra. And the three steps are very simple. Register at smartraveller.gov.au so that we know you’re going and where you’re going, where you plan to be. Secondly, to be able then to access, through your mobile phone technologies, the relevant unfolding travel advisories for the country that you’re going to because things will change. And thirdly, make sure you have travel insurance. These are the three steps to being a smart traveller.