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Return of Chinese Tourism to supercharge recovery

Return of guided groups from China will result in an immediate and significant increase in business activity right across Australia and at just the right moment

The announcement that China has reinstated Australia with Approved Destination Status has been heralded across the industry with Accommodation Australia (AA) proclaiming it as one of the most critical components of the tourism industry’s recovery following the pandemic. 

AA CEO Michael Johnson said the return of guided groups from China is welcome news to hotel operators across Australia, who have navigated more than three years without large groups of visitors from what is historically the most valuable inbound traveller market.

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 “It is no exaggeration to say this is the most significant announcement for Australia’s accommodation industry of the past 12 months,” Mr Johnson said.

“In 2020, Australia’s hotel industry was forced to adapt to the loss of large numbers of visitors from China and they pivoted very well, but today’s announcement will see the return of this key market and in many ways, signals the end of the worst of the pandemic.”

“At Accommodation Australia’s first board meeting in Canberra last week, securing the return of group tourism from China was raised directly with Minister Don Farrell as a key issue for accommodation providers.”

“Australia having Approved Destination Status reinstated is also timely, as it coincides with significant marketing activity that Tourism Australia has been undertaking in China, putting us on a strong footing to hit the ground running.”

“This announcement will result in an immediate and significant increase in business activity right across Australia, and at just the right moment.”

“In the weeks ahead, we expect to see a wave of new bookings and forward business activity, helping support many thousands of jobs in each state and territory.”

“At a time when aviation routes are continuing to recover and people are feeling safe to travel further abroad, this is the shot in the arm that Australia’s accommodation industry needed.”

“We commend the persistent efforts of the Federal Government and in particular, thank the Minister for Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell, for raising this issue with his Chinese counterparts and securing today’s outcome.”

Australian Tourism Export Council ATEC has also welcomed the reinstatement of trade with Australia’s largest visitor market pre-covid, saying it is positive news for many tourism businesses which have built expertise in this market over the past decade. 

ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said: “As a major inbound market for Australian export tourism pre-covid, we welcome the re-instatement of our status on the ADS list and the opportunities it brings to tourism businesses across the country,” 

“As the first western nation to be granted ADS back in 1999, Australian tourism has built a strong focus on this visitor market which is all about group leisure travel. 

“For those businesses with ADS approval who were previously focused on this market, there is a keen desire to get back to welcoming the Chinese visitor. 

“As we move forward the re-engagement of the China market will be a boost to our tourism businesses, particularly as we enter the high season and Luna New Year in 2024.” 

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