11/23/2012 02:50 EST | Updated 01/23/2013 05:12 EST

Revamped government website offers Canadian travellers timely info, advice

TORONTO - Whether it's a security crisis in the Middle East or a two-hour delay at a Canada-U.S. border crossing, a government website promises to change the way Canadian travellers hear about it.

Canada's junior foreign affairs minister for the Americas Diane Ablonczy announced the newly revamped travel.gc.ca at a news conference Friday.

The website, accompanied by a new Travel Smart mobile app, Twitter account and Facebook channel, will make government-related travel information available at the tips of travellers' fingers.

The Travel Smart app allows travellers to download up to five reports while abroad, and access this bank of information when they're on the road without Internet connection.

According to Ablonczy, it is the first time the federal government is pooling resources from 11 branches to help citizens make informed decisions about their travel needs.

The site features travel warnings and advisories, a checklist advising travellers about what they can bring on the plane, information on airport security and border crossing delays, as well as health reports and national customs arranged by destination.

Ablonczy said the site is a one-stop service for Canadian travellers who make about 59 million trips to other countries every year.

Christopher Day, senior director of brand marketing at Expedia Canada and Latin America who helped launch the revamped website, called it “easy and very consumer-accessible.”

“The infrastructure is there, now it’s just simply a question of making sure that [the information] comes back as quickly as possible. So, I’m excited for it,” said Day. “It doesn’t look like a government site; it looks like a great site.”