Three new inbound tour operators have been approved under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme.
The new operators will join 55 other approved operators that can bring Chinese tour groups to Australia under an ADS visa.
The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, congratulated the newly approved operators: AAT Kings Pty Ltd, Trafalgar Tours Pty Ltd and New Star Travel Services Australia Pty Ltd.
“Australia is rightly proud of its Approved Destination Status scheme and the newly approved operators should be proud of their achievement,” Minister Ferguson said.
“Using an ADS approved tour operator ensures Chinese tourists that they will receive a quality Australian tourism experience.”
The ADS scheme has been enhanced by revising the ADS Code of Business Standards and Ethics to remove red tape for operators and to ensure that only operators who are committed to the China market can continue to operate under the scheme.
ADS approved operators will no longer need to apply annually for approval. Once received, approval will be perpetual, unless the operator has been suspended, ceases to undertake ADS business or ceases to operate.
For operators to remain active in ADS business they will now need to manage at least one ADS tour every twelve months.
Operators must also participate in a minimum of four relevant industry seminars or workshops each calendar year, unless they are T-QUAL accredited, then attendance is required at two events.
More information about T-QUAL accreditation is at www.ret.gov.au/tqual.
The Compliance Monitoring Agency will be checking compliance with industry fitness requirements as part of standard compliance monitoring activities.
The new Code will come into effect from 31 October 2012 and is available from www.ret.gov.au/ads.