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Are passports about to boost business for travel agents?

Would you like a passport with that?

Your travel agent may already be organising your next overseas holiday, so why not let them handle your passport application or renewal too?


With Australia Post’s tenure as passport provider expiring in June next year, the travel industry hopes to win the next federal government tender to issue the travel document.


Image News Corp


While the contract is said to be worth $120 million a year, the payout to the travel industry could prove immeasurable, with holidaymakers and travellers obliged to use travel agencies.


“It will definitely help drive people into travel agencies; it will bring travellers back to the travel agents,” said Luke Crawford, from travel agency representative Travelstartup.


With bricks and mortar agencies facing tough competition from online travel agencies, Crawford told The Australian newspaper he had bid for the work to help divert customers back to bona fide stores, and had attracted a lot of interest from agencies in the bid.


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While Australia Post is expected to re­tender for the work, pharmacists are also said to be in the running to pick up the lucrative contract. But supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths yesterday denied they would bid.


With the number of passport applications set to surge from the 1.8 million issued in 2014­/15 to three million by 2019, it is understood the government will also enhance online services to help cope with the rise.


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it expects to make a decision on who would move through to the tender process before the end of July.


Here are five things you must check on your passport.


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 18 May 2016

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