Sunday, July 31, 2011

Canada to boost tourism with new 10-year multiple-entry visas

Published by Ozgur Tore   
SUNDAY, 31 JULY 2011 18:45
International travellers from certain countries have had their path to Canada smoothed with the recent announcement of new 10-year multiple-entry visas by Citizenship & Immigration Canada.
canada-listenerslThis is particularly good news for travellers from Brazil, China, India and Mexico, the four key international markets targeted by the Canadian Tourism Commission(CTC) from which visas are required.
Prior to July 20, the current maximum validity length of multiple-entry visas was five years. However, with an increasing number of countries providing 10-year passports, Canada has matched that flexibility by extending the validity period for multiple-entry visas up to 10 years, minus one month. Chinese, Indian and Mexican travellers all have 10-year passports—these visas should make it much simpler for them head to Canada, as they are already doing in greater numbers, and just as easy to visit again.
Brazilians currently have five-year passports, but the extended timeframe for multiple-entry visas should result in more Brazilians receiving visas that are fully valid until the expiry date on those passports.
Opening travel doors means increasing international tourism revenue streams flowing into Canada, one of the main planks of CTC’s mandate. This announcement brings Canada closer in line with competing destinations, like the US, which has had 10-year multiple-entry visas for some time.
“These longer multiple-entry visas will enhance Canada’s competitiveness in the global tourism marketplace,” says Michele McKenzie, CTC president and CEO. “In such a competitive environment, it’s vital we offer the flexibility and simplicity that travellers demand and that is readily available elsewhere, so that our great tourism experiences remain the key factor in decision-making to visit our country.”