Inbound tour operators (ITOs)

ADS approved inbound tour operators (ITOs) are responsible for ensuring ADS tourists receive a quality tourism experience. ADS ITOs are required to abide by the ADS Code of Business Standards and Ethics which sets out the minimum quality standards and requirements for ADS tours.

Austrade monitors ITOs’ compliance with the code by working with a compliance monitoring agency (CMA). Find out more about the CMA.

ITOs who do not comply with the code may have their ADS approval suspended or revoked. To learn more about the responsibilities of ADS approved ITOs take a look at our video.

Apply to join the ADS scheme

ITOs must be approved by Austrade to operate in the ADS scheme. To check if your business is ready to apply, please follow the steps below.

Step 1: Read the ADS Code of Business Standards and Ethics. The code sets out the responsibilities of ADS approved ITOs.

Step 2: Read the deed of agreement to participate in the ADS scheme for ITOs. If approved, your business will need to enter into a deed of agreement with the Commonwealth stating that you will abide by the ADS Code of Business Standards and Ethics. This is a legal agreement so you may want to seek legal advice before applying.

Step 3 Read the ITO application information pack which outlines the information and evidence you will need to provide in your application.

Step 4: Complete the online application form. Austrade aims to process applications within 10 to 12 weeks of receipt. Applications that are incomplete or have incorrect attachments may take longer to process. If you are approved, please allow four weeks for the visa system to be updated so you can operate ADS tours. Please contact the ADS unit if you need assistance or have any questions about the application process.

Key documents



If you have questions or would like more information on the ADS scheme please contact Austrade’s ADS unit via:

  • Telephone: 1800 048 155 (business hours 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays)
  • Email: