In the last two years Malta became one of the most visited countries in Europe, transforming tourism into one of the most important sectors for the local economy. The greatest number of tourists arrived to cities like Valletta and Gozo by sea and air, with a spectacular increase in visitors coming on passenger cruises.
Investors who want to open companies in tourism can set up various types of businesses, among which hotels and restaurants are very successful. However, those willing to invest lower amounts of money can open travel agencies in Malta.
Below, our Maltese lawyers explain the requirements for setting up a travel agency in accordance with the Travel and Tourism Services Law.
Registering a tour operator business in Malta
The first step to open a travel agency in Malta is to choose a location and register one of the types of structures available with the Trade Register. With the incorporation documents, the business owner must go to the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) and apply for one of the following licenses:
- – the travel operator license;
- – the excursion operator license.
Also, the business owner or the employees must previously obtain a tourism compliance certificate.
These special licenses cover the following types of travel-related businesses in Malta:
- – travel agencies which organize trips outside Malta;
- – travel agencies which organize trips inside in the country;
- – excursion organizing businesses;
- – destination management businesses.
Our law firm in Malta can offer information on the requirements related to obtaining the tourism compliance certificate.
Applying for a travel and excursion operator license in Malta
Once the travel agency is registered, it must submit the following documents with the MTA in order to obtain the travel or excursion operator license:
- – a development permit issued by the Environment and Planning Authority in Malta;
- – proof that the travel agent is a IATA agent, in the case of travel agents;
- – proof that the agent is part of an international tourism organization, in the case of destination management companies.
Once the license is obtained, the Maltese travel agency must conclude a third-party liability insurance policy.
For assistance in opening a travel agency in this country, please contact our lawyers in Malta.