The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade’s (DFAT) Smartraveller service helps keep Australians informed with up-to-date information from around the world, and advice on how to deal with any difficulties.
The Australian High Commissioner to the UK, Mike Rann, believes Aussies should register with the programme before heading abroad for the summer.
He said “For those Australians heading abroad to enjoy the northern hemisphere summer is a time for fun and adventure, however things don’t always go to plan and things can go wrong. That’s why we’re encouraging Australians living in the UK to be Smartravellers and register with DFAT’s Smartraveller service and take out travel insurance.”
“At any one time, there are around one million Australians abroad and it greatly assists DFAT in times of emergencies to know where Australians may be in need of assistance around the world, and the best way to help us to do that it to register with DFAT’s Smartraveller.”
He did stress however, that there is a limit to the Australian Government’s capacity to assist, “The Government’s ability to help depends on local laws and the cooperation of external parties.”
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistic Arrivals and Departures, 490,000 Australians travelled to the UK in 2012.
In 2012, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provided assistance in over 14,500 cases involving Australians in difficulty overseas. This included 1,138 deaths abroad, a 13 per cent rise on 2011.
As Australians book overseas holidays in record numbers, the Department recommends that Aussie travellers:
– Register their travel plans and contact details through Smartraveller, which can then be used to contact or find you in an emergency.
– Subscribe to receive emails about the most up-to-date travel information for where you are/ where you plan to go.
– Take out comprehensive travel insurance that covers all planned activities for the entirety of your trip.
For more information, and details on how to register, visit smartraveller.gov.au.
The Facebook page can be found at facebook.com/smartraveller.gov.au.
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