Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said Australia´s tourism industry will be a big winner from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

China is Australia’s second largest inbound market by arrivals – more than 750,000 last financial year - and largest source of tourism expenditure.

“ChAFTA will grow our world-class tourism sector at home and increase opportunities in China, through high-quality services and investment outcomes,” Mr Robb said.

“With unique natural assets and positioned in the fastest growing tourism region in the world, Australia is a highly attractive destination for tourism infrastructure investment – including hotels, transport, restaurant, retail and major attractions. We forecast about
40 per cent of inbound expenditure growth in the tourism sector to 2022-23 to be sourced from China. This Agreement will maximise these opportunities.”

Key outcomes of the Agreement include:

Strengthening the tourism sector in Australia…

  • ChAFTA will support increased Chinese investment in Australia´s tourism industry through higher screening thresholds for private Chinese investment. Innovative new Investment Facilitation Arrangements will also encourage investment in tourism infrastructure. This will help meet the demands of the 1.5 million Chinese who are expected to visit Australia by 2022-23 and who are projected to spend more than $10.2 billion in our economy.
  • As ChAFTA deepens business and education links with China, business and study-related travel is also set to grow strongly. A Work and Holiday Arrangement concluded alongside ChAFTA will allow 5,000 Chinese Work and Holiday Makers into Australia annually, increasing demand for tourism services and supporting the development of the sector – particularly in rural Australia where Chinese tourism is substantially growing.

… and delivering certainty for Australian tourism providers in China

  • Australian Tourism Services providers will receive guaranteed access to the growing tourism market within China under ChAFTA. For example, China has guaranteed that Australian service suppliers will be able to construct, renovate and operate wholly Australian-owned hotels and restaurants in China. It has also guaranteed that Australian travel agencies and tour operators will be able to establish subsidiaries and provide travel services, tours and hotel accommodation directly to domestic and foreign travellers in China.

Tourism 2020

ChAFTA complements and further strengthens the Government´s wider commitment to supporting the Australian tourism industry, which includes:

  • Record funding to Tourism Australia of over $143 million a year.
  • $43 million for the Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure Programme.
  • $10 million for the China Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme.
  • Delivering benefits for investment through a tourism focus in the Australia Week in China and Australia Business Week in India events.
  • The inclusion of tourism as one of Australia’s five investment priorities.
  • A commitment to freeze the Passenger Movement Charge for the term of this
    Parliament.

Under this Government, for the first time, the tourism industry is an active voice at Tourism Ministers’ meetings, and we are working together on game-changing actions that will enable the industry to reach its potential.

“Concluding ChAFTA negotiations is yet another example of this Government´s commitment to the tourism industry to deliver more jobs, increased investment and economic opportunities for communities across Australia,” Mr Robb said.

Media enquiries

  • Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555