Collaborative approaches to government travel advisories in Australia between Australia’s travel industry leadership and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2003–2017

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Vacation Marketing, 2019, 25 (1), pp. 71 - 87
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DFAT Article 2017 V2.docxSubmitted Version395.98 kB
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DFAT Table 1 SCG Industry Members 2003-2017.docxSubmitted Version18.47 kB
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© The Author(s) 2018. The October 2002 Bali bombing was a catalyst for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to radically alter its approach to the content and dissemination of Australian government travel advisories. Integral to DFAT’s post-Bali strategy was its decision to seek the collaborative support of the Australian outbound travel industry leadership to broaden dissemination of travel advisories to outbound Australian travellers. Although initial contacts between DFAT and the Australian travel industry leaders in early 2003 were contentious, subsequent negotiations resulted in the world’s first signed agreement between a foreign ministry and a national travel industry leadership in June 2003. The initial agreement, the Charter for Safe Travel involved the Australian travel industry’s commitment to disseminate DFAT travel advisories in exchange for a viable consultative role in their content. Australia’s collaborative model was adopted in the UK from 2004, in Canada from 2005 and New Zealand since 2016. Globally, consultation between national travel industry leaders and national foreign ministries is rare, despite the support of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the World Travel and Tourism Council and the Pacific Asia Travel Association. Through participant observation research, in the context of collaboration and stakeholder theories, this article discusses the evolution of a consultative relationship between DFAT and the Australian outbound travel industry leadership and other relevant stakeholders between 2003 and 2017. The observations made in this study reveal that collaborative consultation has achieved positive changes to travel advisories which feature regionally specific, timely and comprehensible content. These qualitative enhancements have been complemented by enhanced dissemination of Australian government travel advisories. Australia’s Consular Consultative Group serves as a working model for similar collaboration, in the interests of global tourism safety.
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