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Monday, May 30, 2022 | China

ADS Code of Conduct reform 2022

Tourism New Zealand has reviewed and updated the ADS Code of Conduct to align with market expectations and a focus on the visitor experience.

Approved Destination Status (ADS) is an agreement between Chinese government and government of another country which allows the country to receive organised Chinese tour groups and allows Chinese government approved tour agencies to obtain visas in bulk to approved countries. New Zealand has held ADS status since 1999, administered by Tourism New Zealand.

The Code sets out standards and procedures that ADS accredited Inbound Tour Operators (ITO) and tour guides need to comply with including health of an ITO’s business, duty of care to ADS visitors, using Qualmark endorsed products, regulating organised shopping and selecting accredited buses and coaches.

Pre-COVID-19, China was New Zealand’s second largest market and accounted for 15% of total visitor spend. Group tour travellers accounted for approximately one third of Chinese visitor arrivals.

Through the updated Code, Tourism New Zealand aims for the purpose of ADS, and the Code of Conduct to be better understood and ensure New Zealand meets it obligation under the terms of government-to-government tourism cooperation with China.

This review streamlines the process and reduces administration for tour operators, and providing opportunities for Tourism New Zealand to adapt the focus on compliance and allowing tour operators to focus on providing high quality visitor experience.

The review also includes clear guidelines when managing breaches to the Code. As the market evolves, the Code needs to be more adaptable to market expectations of a high quality visitor experience.

For further information on the changes to the Code, please contact