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Millionth visa granted supporting Australian tourism

The one millionth visa was granted on 23 July 2013 under the approved destination status (ADS) scheme. This scheme is for group travellers from the People’s Republic of China.

Established in 1999 between the governments of Australia and China, the ADS scheme is a bilateral tourism arrangement which provides streamlined travel opportunities for Chinese tourists to undertake leisure travel in groups to Australia.

ADS continues to be popular for first-time Chinese travellers to Australia and record numbers are using the scheme. In 2012–13, a total of 163 894 tourists travelled to Australia under the scheme, an increase of 19 per cent from the previous program year.

China is Australia’s second largest, and fastest growing, tourism market. More than 411 000 tourist visa applications were lodged by Chinese citizens in 2012–13, a 22 per cent increase from 2011–12.


Comments (1)


I am a migration agent and lawyer currently located in the People's Republic of China in Taiyuan. The introduction of the Approved Destination Status Stream for China has meant a large improvement in the processing times for people applying for a tourist visa to Australia from the PRC and we have seen a large up surge in tourism visa applications from China recently as well.

Australia has long been a viable destination for people from the PRC looking to study, do business or migrate on the basis of skilled employment and with China's continued and remarkable economic growth which gives Chinese people some disposable income with which to travel, this trend seems set to continue.

David Coleman