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Tourism applauds Coalition commitment to Approved Destination Status

February 6, 2019 Business News No Comments Email Email

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has welcomed the Coalition Government’s commitment to fund four more years of the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme, a bilateral agreement with China which has underwritten the success of the annual $12 billion in spending by Chinese visitors to Australia each year.

The ADS, which began in 1999, has built a framework for delivering quality services and visa innovation for the Chinese market, supporting around 2.5 million Chinese visitors to undertake group travel in Australia since its inception.

“ATEC congratulates the Coalition Government in its commitment to the ADS with the announcement of a further four year, $11 million investment in delivering quality experiences for Chinese group travellers,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said today.

“ATEC has been involved with the ADS program since its inception as the founding member of the ADS Advisory Panel and as an accreditation provider for the first 21 inbound tour operators to be approved under the scheme.

“The continuation and evolution of this program is an important element in ensuring Australia remains a desirable destination for Chinese visitors who currently account for 27% of all international visitor spending.”

Mr Shelley said the effective resourcing of the ADS unit within Austrade will ensure they can continue to deliver training, quality Code of Conduct frameworks, capacity building for product servicing the China market and educational programs for the ADS agents in China on destination Australia, particularly in emerging tier-three provinces.

“The forward funding of the ADS has been an issue high on ATEC’s agenda and this commitment by the Coalition will provide a great opportunity to expand on its success.

“China still presents enormous new business opportunities with visitors from tier three and four provinces yet to embark on any overseas travel and the ADS ‘tailored group travel itineraries’ for first time travellers is well-suited to this sectors needs.

“The ADS is an excellent example of how industry and government can work together to create efficiency, particularly in visa approval processes – and ATEC commends the role Austrade has played in the management and carriage of the scheme.

“We look forward to working with the Government in implementing recommendations from the recent ADS review, particularly in the areas of capability-building, skills, quality and service excellence.”

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