Smartraveller has axed its pre-trip registration feature, citing inaccurate reporting from travellers making it harder to reach people who needed help.
The government’s travel guidance website issued an update last week to let travellers know they no longer needed to register their travel plans and should instead subscribe to receive updates on the destinations they plan to travel to and through.
According to Smartraveller, the pre-registration system was not providing the service intended and a subscription system would be better suited to deliver updated advice or alerts to travellers.
The subscription system also allows travellers to manage the information they receive and stop alerts when they are no longer needed.
“We decided to end pre-trip registration because we found many people were not providing accurate itineraries, updating their itineraries when plans changed or advising if they left a destination they had been staying in for a while,” the update read.
“Inaccurate information would make it difficult for us to reach people who really needed help during a crisis.”
Smartraveller noted that when a crisis occurs, DFAT can set up a crisis registration portal, with links shared across its website and social media.
“This allows you or your loved ones to register your location and contact details with us so we can get in contact and provide advice,” it said.
Smartraveller’s most recent registration portal was set up in the lead-up to the war in Ukraine to gather information on the number of Australian citizens and permanent residents who were in Ukraine and nearby areas, provide them advice on what to do and check whether they were in danger.