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ATEC today welcomed the Federal Government’s Budget announcement reinstating funding to support and improve the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme.

ATEC has been calling on the Government to re-fund and refocus the ADS scheme which was key to Australia’s success in growing the Chinese visitor market over two decades.

The retention of Tourism Australia funding, critical to the ongoing rebuild of the inbound holiday maker market, is also welcomed.

“ATEC welcomes the Government’s commitment to supporting existing funding levels for Tourism Australia and its investment in promoting Australia,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said tonight.

“Moving forward we will look for increased funding to ensure Australia remains competitive in the global tourism marketplace.”

This year’s budget has allocated $8.1 million over 4 years to rebuild the China ADS scheme, which was defunded and put on hold during the pandemic.  More than 670,000 Chinese holiday makers delivered over $3.3bn in spending in 2019.

“ATEC has been advocating for the reinstatement and refresh of this important program since the re-establishment of visitors from China last year and we are pleased to see this funding back in the budget.

“We see an opportunity for the China ADS program to be modernised to strengthen service delivery and to focus on consumer driven, quality group tour offerings. This budget allocation will enable us to achieve these changes with the security of ongoing forward funding for the first time.”

Mr Shelley said allocations for the Export Market Development Grant scheme have been retained with the addition of $10.9 m for the ‘Go Global Toolkit’ to support new exporters (including tourism exporters) to grow their markets.

“We congratulate Minister Farrell for his strong advocacy for our industry and the support he has given in securing the ADS for our tourism exporters.”