News Release Article from  Global Affairs Canada

Santa Claus downloads Canada's new Travel Smart app

December 22, 2015 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is inviting December’s busiest world-traveller to download its new Travel Smart app, a one-stop shop for international travel information and advice that helps users travel safely around the globe.

Santa Claus is leading the way in using this new tool to assist with his time-sensitive Christmas voyage. During one of the year’s peak travel periods, wait times at the U.S. border can turn nice children naughty. With this app, Santa can see how long it might take to cross the border and alter his travel plans accordingly, to facilitate his travels and ensure every present is delivered.

Travel Smart will also provide Santa and all other users with timely and accurate information on security conditions, health considerations, changing entry and exit requirements, and passport validity. It provides emergency contact information for Canadian embassies and consulates across the globe and allows users to register, so they can be reached in case of an emergency. For example, should one of Santa’s elves fall ill due to December’s heavy workload, Mrs. Claus could notify Santa immediately.

Canada’s new Travel Smart app is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play for download to smartphones and tablets. Designed to help Canadians while they are travelling, studying, working or living abroad, the free app enables travellers to stay connected and receive up-to-date information through an intuitive and accessible platform.

Quotes

“With today’s evolving international travel environment, it is essential that the government use innovative technologies like the Travel Smart app to provide accurate information and timely advice directly to Canadian citizens, in real time, wherever they may be around the world.”

- The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Nobody logs more kilometres travelling around the world than Santa Claus and his reindeer do on Christmas Eve. The Travel Smart app will help Santa stay connected across borders and overseas through geolocation-based information, and link them to social media and emergency contact information, all at the touch of a screen. You know it’s a great app when Santa uses it!”

- Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs)

Quick facts

  • By 2030, global travel is expected to reach 1.8 billion arrivals worldwide, which represents almost five million people crossing international borders each day. In 2013, Canadians made 59 million international trips, an increase of 40 percent compared to 10 years prior.
  • As part of the award-winning Travel.gc.ca website—the Government of Canada’s one-stop shop for information and advice from 12 departments and agencies—the Travel Smart app will provide Canadians of all ages with the ability to obtain travel advice, both on and off-line, with data specifically catered to destinations of their choosing.
  • The new Travel Smart app provides a host of useful information at the touch of a screen, including:       
    • up-to-date travel advice and advisories for over 200 destinations worldwide;
    • security conditions, health information, entry and exit requirements, and passport validity and associated fees;
    • continuously updated wait times at key Canada-U.S. border crossing posts listed by distance from the user’s location;
    • the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to assist Canadians in case of an emergency abroad or at home;
    • emergency contact information for embassies and consulates abroad and the 24-7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa; and
    • social media links on Travel.gc.ca, Twitter and Facebook.

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media@international.gc.ca
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