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Government of Canada Launches International Travel Website

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/23/12 -- The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), was in Toronto today to announce the launch of the newly revamped Travel.gc.ca, Canada's official "one-stop shop" for international travel information.

"Our government is pleased to announce Travel.gc.ca, a newly revamped tool to help Canadians travel smarter and safer," said Minister Ablonczy. "For the first time ever, we have brought together in one place information from all government departments to help Canadians be informed before, during and after their travels."

Travel.gc.ca is a single website where Canadians will find, easily and efficiently, the information they need to travel or live abroad safely and to make informed decisions. In addition to the website, a new mobile application, Travel Smart, is now available; it allows Canadians anywhere in the world to access Government of Canada information and services on international travel.

Canadians will also be able to access key travel information from anywhere in the world through Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds and email updates. Travel.gc.ca is supported by a social media presence distributing the latest travel advice, crisis updates and emergency contact information. Social media channels will also provide a venue for Canadians to let the Government of Canada know about their travel-related needs and priorities.

"Canadians access Travel.gc.ca and government services from their mobile devices in surprising numbers," added Minister Ablonczy. "The Travel Smart app and social media channels are a natural fit in our age of smart phones."

Travel.gc.ca is managed by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Canada Revenue Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Environment Canada, Health Canada, Passport Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Safety Canada and Transport Canada.

For more information, please visit Travel.gc.ca.

To download the Travel Smart mobile application, please visit Travel.gc.ca/mobile.

Additional press materials are available at Media Kit.

A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Travel.gc.ca

As part of the Government of Canada's new approach to online services and accessibility, all federal government international travel content and services have been merged into Travel.gc.ca. This single thematic website is an authoritative and comprehensive source of information for Canadians travelling or living abroad, and includes an interactive map of the exact location of Canadian government offices abroad with complete contact information.

Travel.gc.ca integrates regularly updated content and resources from 11 government partners to help Canadians easily and efficiently find the information they need to make informed decisions about international travel.

The following are some of the many topics covered in Travel.gc.ca.

Mobile application, Twitter and Facebook

Canadians can stay connected to Canada and access the most up-to-date travel-related information wherever they may be through the Travel Smart mobile web application, and the Travel.gc.ca Twitter and Facebook channels, RSS feeds and email updates.

Travel documents, passports, consent letters

The site provides continually updated information on a range of travel documents, such as passports, visas, certificates of Canadian citizenship, international driving permits, consent letters for children travelling alone, the Canadian International Health Certificate for Travelling Pets, as well as pre-boarding identification requirements.

Country advice and advisories

Through Travel.gc.ca and the Travel Smart mobile application, Canadians at home and abroad can access travel advice and advisories on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues in destinations around the world. Subscribers to the Travel.gc.ca Twitter and Facebook channels receive the latest travel advice updates, emergency contacts and crisis information, as well as other information Canadians need to travel safely.

Returning to Canada

Travel.gc.ca offers information on what is required when returning to Canada from abroad, which items and products can and cannot be brought into Canada, and duty and taxes.

Registration of Canadians Abroad

By visiting Travel.gc.ca, Canadians can access Registration of Canadians Abroad, a free, confidential service that keeps Canadians connected to Canada in case of an emergency abroad, such as an earthquake or civil unrest, or informed about an emergency at home.

What to pack

Preparation is the key to successful travel, and Travel.gc.ca features information and services that will save travellers time and energy. Before starting to pack for a trip abroad, Canadians should visit the "What to Pack" page, which lists what can and cannot be packed in carry-on and checked baggage. They will save time and ensure a smooth airport security screening process by "packing smart."

Border wait times

Canadians who drive home from the United States should visit Travel.gc.ca to save time by checking the list of wait times at Canada-U.S. border stations from coast to coast. They can also do so before leaving on a trip to the United States.

Travel health

Preparation is the key to healthy travel. Travel.gc.ca offers information to Canadians on how to stay healthy as they travel anywhere in the world. The website offers the latest travel health updates and disease fact sheets, as well as information on vaccinations, travelling with prescription medications, coping with a medical emergency abroad and getting help from Canadian offices abroad.

Airport security screening and wait times

By visiting Travel.gc.ca, Canadians can also check the list of airport security screening wait times before leaving for the airport to make sure they have enough time for the screening process.

Contacts:
Joshua Zanin
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs
(Americas and Consular Affairs)
613-944-2300

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874

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