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Budget 2006: More funding to protect Chinese tourism.

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Media Release The Hon Fran Bailey, MP

9 May 2006

MORE FUNDING TO PROTECT CHINESE TOURISM The Australian Government will provide additional funding to strengthen the China Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme and help safeguard Chinese tourism to Australia.

$3.9 million has been committed to protect and strengthen the ADS scheme over the next four years. This is in addition to the more than $320 million the Government has committed to tourism over the next two years.

“China is the new tiger in the tourism playground. It has the potential to do what Japan did for us in the 1980s. The additional $3.9 million will help stamp out rogue operators and ensure the potential of this emerging market is realised,” Fran Bailey, Minister for Small Business and Tourism, said today.

In 2005, 285 000 Chinese tourists visited Australia, an increase of 13.4 per cent on the previous year. This is forecast to grow by 15.7 per cent to 1.2 million tourists by 2015.

The ADS scheme is a bilateral tourism arrangement which permits Chinese tourists to undertake leisure travel in groups to Australia. The additional $3.9 million in funding is another example of the Australian Government’s strong commitment to attracting more international tourists to Australia.

Over the next two years, more than $320 million will be invested in tourism, including: • $269 million for Tourism Australia, Australia’s international tourism promotion agency. • $15.4 million to support regional tourism projects under the Australian Tourism Development Programme; and • $7 million for local tourism projects, including the Cairns foreshore.

“The Australian Government is committed to the $75 billion tourism industry which has created more than half a million jobs, including 13,500 new jobs in the last financial year, and earns Australia more than $18 billion in exports. This Budget is further demonstration of that strong commitment.”

Media contact: Kevin Lowe, (02) 6277 7450 or 0408 404468.

Supporting Information

Why is this important?

z The Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme is a bilateral tourism

arrangement between the Chinese Government and foreign destinations. Countries with this status are permitted by China to host Chinese tourists undertaking leisure travel in groups. z In 1999, Australia and New Zealand became the first Western

destinations to be granted ADS status by China. z The additional funding over the next four years will ensure that

applicants to the scheme are assessed against “fit and proper person” criteria, involving industry fitness, immigration compliance and good standing tests. z Participants in the scheme are monitored for their compliance against

the ADS Code of Business Standards and Ethics. This monitoring includes random checks on all operators including compliance and financial checks. z Operators found to have breached the Code will be penalised. This

may include the suspension or revocation of their licence to operate in the scheme.

Who will benefit? z The strengthened ADS arrangements stand to benefit a wide range of Australian businesses by:

- addressing the tourism quality issues in this market, which threaten an important export industry; and

- restoring fair and open competition in the market, so that it can grow and reach its full potential.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

z The Australian Government is committing $3.9 million over the next

four years to strengthen administrative arrangements for the ADS scheme.

What have we done in the past? z Participation in ADS is a requirement for Australia to host tourist groups from China. Until recently, the focus of the Australian

Government’s attention has been on immigration related matters, such as minimising absconders and visa over-stayers. This focus has now been expanded to also address quality issues.

When will the initiative conclude? z Funding for this initiative will conclude 30 June 2010.