The establishment and operation of Travel Agencies is regulated by the Tourist and Travel Agencies and Tourist Guides Law (41(I)/1995).
According to its provisions, a licence is required for the establishment and operation of a tourist and travel agency, which can be granted to:
- A natural person residing in the Republic of Cyprus or in another EU member state;
- A legal person established in the Republic of Cyprus or in another EU member state.
Please note that companies established in third countries may operate in the Republic of Cyprus only if they are represented by a licensed local agency in Cyprus. Both agencies must inform the Cyprus Tourism Organisation about their cooperation, providing all the relevant information that may be requested (such as the dates of commencement and termination of the cooperation, information on tourist arrivals etc.)
Furthermore, please keep in mind that it is prohibited to operate or advertise as a Travel Agency or to use the term tourist or other related words etc without the relevant licence.
What conditions must the Manager of the Travel Agency meet?
In order to obtain the licence, the proposed Manager of the Travel Agency must provide evidence of relevant academic background and work experience.
For instance, the manager must (among others):
- be either a graduate of a higher school specialized in tourism or possess a University Degree in Tourism in addition to one year work experience in a travel agency OR
- be a holder of a University Degree and have at least three years working experience in a travel agency OR
- be a graduate of secondary education and have at least seven years working experience in a travel office, airline, shipping company in departments specializing in tourist/travel activities.
- Furthermore, the Manager must have excellent knowledge of at least one foreign language of those in the tourist industry.
- A clean criminal record is also required.
Are there any requirements or restrictions concerning the name of the Travel Agency?
According to the policies of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation:
- It is recommended that the names are related to the Cypriot culture, history, civilization etc.
- Greek names must be transcribed in the latin alphabet and not translated literally.
- The names must be brief and should not include initials or combination of initials and words.
- The names should not include names of cities, villages or locations.
Please note that the Cyprus Tourism Organisation is not obliged to accept any name registered with the Registrar of Companies and Registrar’s approval is not a requirement for the examination of the name by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.
Should the Agency have an office?
Yes, this is a requirement. The Travel Agency should have independent furnished premises (of min. 20 sqm).
Are there any personnel requirements?
Yes, the Agency must be staffed with min. two persons, including the Manager.
What about any further requirements?
Upon approval of the application, the Agency must proceed to:
- the deposit of a guarantee (15.000 EUR) in cash or by a letter of guarantee from a Bank or any other Credit or Insurance Institution.
- the payment of the licence fee (for the first two years of operation), which amounts to 400 EUR.
The above information provided for general purposes only and does not constitute any legal or other kind of advice.
If you are planning to establish a travel agency in Cyprus, our team can provide you with additional information on the requirements, advise you and assist you on the related procedures.