Australia extends automated border clearance to
Chinese visitors

SYDNEY, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Eligible Chinese tourists can now use Australia's "smart gate" system when arriving into the country for automated border clearance, the Australian Border Force said on Monday, as it seeks to deal with a rising number of tourist arrivals.

Australia has expanded the number of eligible countries allowed to use its automated gate clearance system from eight to 15 to now include those from China, Japan, South Korea, France and Sweden.

"The number of travellers arriving in Australia is steadily increasing and the expansion of SmartGate to other nationalities will help the Australian Border Force (ABF) maintain border security while managing the challenge of growing traveller numbers," the ABF said in a statement on Monday.

The "SmartGate" system allows passengers to self-process through immigration clearance using eligible ePassports, prior to customs and quarantine checks.

Visitors to Australia increased 9 percent in the year ending March 2016 to 7.1 million, of which China took second spot behind New Zealand. China and New Zealand represent a combined one-third of the market, according to figures from Tourism Research Australia.


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