Establishment and Operation of Tourist and Travel Agencies
In order to establish and operate a Tourist and Travel Agency in the Republic of Cyprus, physical persons and legal entities of EU member states need to obtain the licence for the establishment and operation of a tourist and travel agency by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism.
Who is Eligible
A license to establish and operate a Tourist and Travel Agency in the Republic of Cyprus can be granted only to physical persons residents in the Republic of Cyprus or in another member state or legal entities established in the Republic of Cyprus or another member state.
Non-EU member state companies may operate in the Republic of Cyprus on a permanent basis only if represented by a licensed Tourist and Travel Agency in the Republic of Cyprus.
Every Tourist and Travel Agency must be managed by a manager who shall:
(a) (i) Either be a graduate of a recognized higher School of Tourist Occupations or possess a University degree in tourism and have at least one year working experience in a travel agency;
(ii) Either be a holder of a University degree and have at least three years working experience in a travel agency;
(iii) or Be a graduate of a sixth-grade school of secondary education and have at least seven years working experience in a travel office, airline or shipping company in departments dealing mainly and directly with tourist and travel activities.
(b) Have a good knowledge of at least one foreign language of those prevailing in the tourist industry.
(c) Not be prohibited by reason of a judicial order from dealing with the property thereof, and
(d) Not have been convicted of an offense which entails the absence of honesty or moral turpitude or not have been convicted for a violation of any legislation for which the Deputy Ministry of Tourism has competence.
In case the applicant is a legal person, all the Members of the Board of Directors are required to have the qualifications as prescribed in paragraphs (c) and (d) above.
Where to Apply
The application for the Establishment of a Tourist and Travel Agency can be submitted either through the PSC Cyprus or by post/hand to the competent authority.
Deputy Ministry of Tourism
P.O.Box 24535, 1390 Nicosia
Tel. +357 22691271
Fax +357 22 331 644, +357 22 334 696
Email: AndriVenizelou@visitcyprus.com, email@example.com
Which Certificates must be Submitted
The application should be accompanied by the following documents:
- Original valid clear Criminal Record Certificate submitted not later than 60 days after its issue (in case the applicant is a physical person);
- Copy of Certificate of Incorporation (in case of a legal entity);
- Copy of Memorandum and Articles of Association (in case of a legal entity);
- Copy of Certificate of Shareholders (in case of a legal entity);
- Copy of Certificate of Directors and Secretary (in case of a legal entity);
- Copy of Certificate of Registered Office Address (in case of a legal entity).
It is noted that the documents issued by the Registrar of Companies should be submitted not later than 60 days after their issue or validation by the Registrar of Companies.
- Original valid clear Criminal Record Certificate, submitted not later than 60 days after its issue, for all the members of the Board of Directors. (in case of a legal entity).
«Details of the (proposed) manager of a Tourist and Travel Agency» along with:
- Copy of titles of proposed manager’s academic qualifications;
- Copy of certificate of past experience in Tourist and Travel Agencies or any other relevant evidence or a certificate of employment by the Social Securities Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance;
- An original and valid clear Criminal Offence Record submitted not later than 60 days after its issue;
- Copy of evidence of good knowledge of one foreign language of those prevailing in the Tourism Industry;
- Copy of evidence of citizenship.
Fees Applicable & How to Pay
Upon approval of the establishment of the Travel and Tourism Agency, a licence fee of € 400,00 (payable by cash, cheque or bank transfer) and a deposit of a guarantee of €15,000.00 is required. This guarantee may be deposited either in cash or by way of a letter of guarantee from a bank or a cooperative credit or Insurance institution. Provided that, in the case where the guarantee is given by a letter of guarantee, the same shall be approved by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, be valid for at least two years and renewed at least two months before the expiration thereof.
The renewal fee is € 300,00.
On-site inspections are carried out by the Deputy Ministry’s officers.
The applicant is informed regarding the authorization decision within 3 months from the date that the application form and supporting documents were duly submitted.
Licence Validity Period
The licence is valid for a duration of two years (or part of them) and expires on the 31st of December. The renewal fee is € 300,00.
Dispute with the Competent Authority's Decision
How to File an Administrative Action
Administrative Action against a Competent Authority’s Decision
Any person may file an Administrative Action at the Administrative Court against a decision, act, or omission of any competent authority or body.
Pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution, an Administrative Action may be lodged within 75 days from the date of the decision or act or omission or from the day when such decision or act or omission was notified to the applicant.
The Administrative Court acts as a cassation Court and not as a substantive Court. In other words, the Administrative Court may:
I. Dismiss the Administrative Action
II. Annul wholly or partially the contested decision or act
III. Compel the relevant authority or body to take a certain action
After a decision is annulled, the authority and/or public body must reverse things back to the state prior to when the concerned decision and/or act was executed and reexamine.
How to Appeal
An Appeal may be filed against the Administrative Court’s first-instance decision within a period of 42 days from the date such decision was given.
At the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal Section) hearing, the contested issue of the appeal remains the legality of the decision or act already adjudicated. However, such a revision of the legality of the decision or act is solely examined on the matters and the extent that the two parties have limited the reasons in the relevant notice of appeal.
The decision adopted by the Supreme Court is considered final in relation to the matter that has been judged.
Legislation & Obligations
Which Laws and Regulations Apply
What are my Obligations
The Deputy Ministry of Tourism supervises, in a prescribed manner, the operation of the licensed Tourist and Travel Agencies in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of the relevant Laws and Regulations and the terms of the licence, as well as the various activities of the Agency in order to secure high quality standards of service for the protection of the consumer and to avoid bad reputation of the Republic of Cyprus or a damaging effect on the tourist trade thereof.
Every licensed Tourist and Travel Agency is obliged to comply with the following:
- Have suitably furnished and independent premises and have a floor area of at least 20 sq.m. with a private toilet and wash basin; and
- Be equipped with an appropriate and a satisfactory in number personnel (minimum number shall be two persons, including the Manager);
- Have its own name, which shall be the same as the one recognized by the Licence to establish and operate a Tourist or Travel Agency. The right of ownership of the name is transferable through a written agreement and relevant notification of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism within a month. Furthermore, according to the Deputy Ministry’s policy it is desirable that: (i) the names derive from Cypriot culture, history, civilization and the special characteristics of Cyprus; (ii) Greek names must not be translated literally but be written in Latin characters, (iii) the names where possible must be brief, meaningful and in no way include initials or a combination of initial and words. The Deputy Ministry of Tourism proceeds to examine and approve a name irrespective of whether the said name was approved or not by the Registrar of Companies. The interested parties are advised to firstly communicate with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism to be accordingly informed, before they proceed with the Registrar of Companies;
- Notify the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and submit relevant data and documents within one month in case of alteration in the address of the licensed office or in the composition of the Board of Directors (in case of legal persons);
- Submit, whenever it is required by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism:
- the drafts of every advertising leaflet, issue of programs or any other printed publication , not including prices, which are about to be circulate; and
- any statistical information concerning the activities of the Offices.
- Include in every publication must include the name and the registered office of the Tourist and Travel Agency;
- The exercise of managerial duties by the same person in more than one licensed office is prohibited;
- If for any reason the amount of guarantee is decreased the entrepreneur is obliged to cover the difference within 30 days. In case the decrease of the guarantee is greater than half of the total amount the entrepreneur is obliged to cover the difference within 15 days.