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Interest soars in strengthening Advanced Destination Status scheme ( ADS).

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Media Release The Hon Fran Bailey, MP

22 July 2005


Inbound tour operators working in the Chinese market appear to have embraced changes to the Approved Destination Status scheme announced recently by Small Business and Tourism Minister Fran Bailey.

In 1999, Australia became the first western country to receive Approved Destination Status (ADS) and since then more than 160,000 Chinese have visited Australia in tour groups. Inbound tour operators that do business with the Chinese group tour market must be approved to operate in that market under the ADS scheme.

Under improvements to the ADS scheme announced last month, tourism operators have been invited to apply, and all existing tourism operators are required to reapply, for inclusion in the strengthened scheme. The scheme has been improved to deliver Chinese visitors a high quality tourism experience, by squeezing out unscrupulous operators.

The Minister met with Mr Shao Qi Wei, the chairman of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), during her recent visit to China. Positive support was received with Chairman Shao agreeing to work with Australian officials to implement complimentary measures in support of the strengthened ADS scheme.

“To date, over 50 applications from new and existing operators have been received to participate in the strengthened ADS scheme, this includes over 20 from new operators. If all applications are approved, this would translate to a 60% increase on the current number of approved operators,” said Fran Bailey

“I’m delighted to see this level of interest from the industry in the revised ADS scheme. This response indicates the tightened regulations have been well received and that tour operators are highly motivated to protect the integrity of Australia’s tourism product.”

“This is also a great indication that Australia is top of mind as a ‘must see’ destination for Chinese tourists. The Chinese market offers Australia a potential tourism market of 400 million people,” Fran Bailey said.

“The strengthened ADS scheme, together with industry initiatives, such as the expanded services to and from China being offered by Qantas from January, will ensure that Australia will be well positioned to maximise the potential of the Chinese market”, Fran Bailey said.

Media Contact: Carley Griffith 0419 840 452 02 6277 7450