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Upgrades for China Approved Destination Scheme

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Minister for Tourism

Martin Ferguson

Upgrades for China Approved Destination Scheme

23 August 2012

Improvements to the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme will strengthen Australia’s reputation for quality and help secure more Chinese tour group visitors to Australia.

Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said that a new compliance taskforce and the addition of three new tour operators to the scheme demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the China tourism market.

“The new taskforce will undertake periodic compliance blitzes to ensure Australian tourism businesses within the scheme are operating ethically,” Minister Ferguson said.

“This will send a clear signal that we will not tolerate those rare occasions when operators don’t do the right thing by Chinese visitors to Australia.

“I am also pleased to welcome three new Sydney-based inbound tourism operators to the scheme: Master Tour Group, Australia Travel Marketing and Redrock Capital.

“Australia highly values its Approved Destination Status and was delighted to learn that China National Tourism Administration considered ours world’s best practice.”

Australia, along with New Zealand, was the first western country approved under the ADS scheme in 1999. Since 1999, Australia has welcomed 732,000 ADS tourists in around 53,000 groups.

The independent Chinese tourism sector is also growing, with more than 175,000 Chinese visitors travelling to Australia on a non-ADS tourist visa in 2011.

China is now Australia’s largest inbound tourism market, with around 583,000 Chinese visitors to Australia in the 12 months to June 2012.

“The Government is aiming to grow the markets for Chinese group and independent tourism through initiatives such as the $1.2 million Welcoming Chinese Visitors program to increase Chinese cultural awareness in the industry and through extra funds for Tourism Australia as part of the $48.5 million Asia Marketing Fund,” Minister Ferguson said.

“Australia’s successful management of the ADS scheme, strong marketing presence in China and the cultural links between Australia and China put Australia in a competitive position to grow Chinese visitor numbers to over 1 million by 2020.”

Information on the ADS scheme including the ADS Code of Business Standards and Ethics is available at:

Media Contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0401 222 941