China Approved Destination Status scheme

The Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme allows Chinese tourists to travel to Australia in guided groups.

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Status: Open

About the ADS scheme

China’s Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme has reopened. This follows the Chinese Government’s announcement on 10 August 2023 that Australia was again included on a list of countries for the scheme.

We manage the ADS scheme in Australia with the Department of Home Affairs and Tourism Australia. We look forward to welcoming the return of Chinese group tours as part of the ADS scheme. 

A phased approach to reopening

Austrade is planning a staged resumption of the previously paused ADS scheme. It will have 3 phases:

  • Activation phase – short-term response to re-establish processes and reactivate ITOs so that ADS tour groups can commence visiting Australia.
  • Transition phase – medium-term response measures where lessons from the activation phase and outcomes from the recent review of the scheme inform changes to the future administration of the scheme.
  • Implementation phase – long-term response measures where the new framework, protocols and requirements are implemented. We have commissioned independent advice to provide options for an updated, cost-effective approach to monitoring the quality of ADS tours delivered under the ADS scheme in the longer term.

Inbound tour operators

How to reactivate your approved status

Inbound tour operators (ITOs) previously approved under the ADS scheme are eligible to:

  • apply to reactivate their approved status
  • operate ADS tour groups.

To apply to reactivate your previously approved ITO’s status:

  • email to request a reactivation form
  • complete and return the form along with supporting information.

To be considered for reactivation, ITOs will need to have maintained the relevant requirements to be an approved operator, such as membership of a relevant industry organisation.

View the list of reactivated ITOs at Approved inbound tour operators.

New applicants

New ITOs can apply for the ADS scheme. To apply:

  • email to request a new ITO application form
  • complete and return the form to us with supporting information.

View the list of reactivated and new ITOs at Approved inbound tour operators.

ADS Code of Business Standards and Ethics  

Approved ITOs are required to abide by the ADS Code of Business Standards and Ethics.

This sets out the minimum quality standards and requirements for ADS tours.

The role of the Australian Government

Austrade manages Australia’s ADS scheme with the Department of Home Affairs and Tourism Australia.

The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for the immigration aspects of the scheme. Home Affairs is responsible for approving outbound tour operators (OTOs) to sell ADS tour packages and apply for ADS visas on the tourists’ behalf.

Tourism Australia is responsible for marketing Australia to Chinese consumers and for working with OTOs to equip them with the knowledge and skills to create and sell high quality tour packages to Australia.

Contact us


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