Canadian travellers looking for news on border wait times or travel advisories can say goodbye to the days of multiple online stops. The federal government has just launched Travel.gc.ca, a portal that's expected to be a one-stop spot for travel info, according to Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affair.
“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,” said Ablonczy.
The revamped website will combine a wealth of information in a collaborative effort between 11 government partners, including the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, Passport Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Running the website will be Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and brings similar functionality found in the U.S. travel information website, travel.state.gov.
In addition to streamlining information, the website aims to speed up some processes Canadians have to jump through in order to travel. For example, information about what Canadians can pack in their carry-ons is expected to lead to faster and easier security screenings, reports the Epoch Times
Canadians who aren't near a computer (like most travellers) can still benefit from Travel.gc.ca, as they'll be able to access data like crisis information and emergency contacts through Twitter, Facebook, an RSS feed and email updates. To top it off, there's also a mobile app to download the same information on their smartphones. For the safety conscious, an appealing feature on the app is an optional destination registry to let the federal government know how many Canadians are in an area at any given time.
As noted by documents acquired CBC News, the site and app mark an effort to strike a balance between serving Canadians abroad amid the Minister of Foreign Affairs' diminishing budget.
Due to growing demands, the government says it must "shape realistic expectations" about what Canadians can count on in dealing with embassies and consular services by "finding alternative and less costly ways to deliver routine services through the better use of technology, and by managing expectations of Canadian citizens living abroad (including those relating to their non-Canadian families) particularly during times of crisis," noted the CBC.