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Travel agents may be processing passports from 2017

May 20, 2016 Headline News 3 Comments Print Print Email Email

egtmedia59Australia Post’s contract with the Federal Government to process passport applications expires in June 2017 and travel agents are reported to be among those trying to pick it up.

The contract is worth about AUD 120 million a year and Australia Post has held it for 30 years, the Australian reports.

Pharmacists are also bidding for the contract. Not that it will necessarily move from Australia Post, because the post office network is said to be pursuing a renewal of the contract as well.

An article in the Australian quoted Luke Crawford, from Travelstartup, confirming he was bidding for the work “to help divert customers from online travel agencies into bricks-and-mortar agencies”.

Aussie passport

Aussie passport

Crawford sees passports as a sure-fire advantage that bricks-and-mortar agencies could hold over online rivals. It would certainly be a valuable way of drawing people through the doors.

Coles and Woolworths have denied they plan to bid, the Australian reported, but at least one big pharmacy chain is after the business.

It’s too late to apply now – expressions of interest closed with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 27 April 2016.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    Hell, I wouldn’t want to go near doing passports. You’d have streams of people wandering in asking questions, having the incorrect forms, forgetting documents, etc. You’d have to set up to take their photos. And believe me, it would be no guarantee of business. People don’t go into AusPost with parcels just because they do passports. People would just do their regular online bookings and then waste the agents time with their passport applications. Dunno who came up with this brainwave but don’t expect all agents to participate.

  2. Agent007 says:

    I think its a fantastic idea being an agent myself – i already have my customers asking me about passport information and sometimes if customers don’t have the 6 months validity needed when they travel knowing that i could also offer them the service of arranging their passport would not only help me provide better value to my customer but i assume their is a cut for me the agent… i cant see any of the other big groups which we are all apart of it putting their hat into the ring and working for us… we pay all these fees and what do we get….. i say good luck to Mr Crawford and i will be taking part if he is successful!

  3. Robyn says:

    Who ever thought that was a good idea – probably thought up the idea to axe travel agent licensing !
    Here is a statistic for you over 80% of passport applications are incorrect on first lodgement to the post office.
    Pharmacists are licensed and regulated/ Australia Post the same / Travel agents hmmmm not so much
    lets see – jail terms for a few agents this year and a couple of house arrests – yep not feeling that getting over the line, and nor would you want to. It wont generate business, if you have ever worked for a company that issues another countries visas
    you would know that. Sorry Agent007 your on your own on that thought PS you should ask your post master how much money they make lodging a passport – Me on my back laughing – sorry – im not getting out of bed for that!

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