In Singapore, a Travel Agent is any entity that arranges and organises services related to travel and tours by providing air, sea or land travel and tour packages. A tour operator can be either a person or company.

If your business operates from Singapore, falls under any of the below categories, you will be required to obtain an appropriate tour operating licence from the authority.

  • Sale or arranging any person a right to travel on any conveyance
  • Sale or arranging any person a right to travel on any conveyance to and a right of accommodation at a hotel or similar boarding premises at, one or more places, whether in or out of Singapore
  • Purchasing, or reserving, for resale to a person a right to travel on any conveyance
  • Supplying any tour (whether or not organised by the person) to any other person
  • Such other similar activity as may be prescribed

Niche Licence

A Niche Licence allows only selling and arranging of tours with conveyance within Singapore without accommodation.

General Licence

A General Licence will allow travel agents to conduct ALL types of travel agent activities.

Licence Criteria:

  • Registered with ACRA
  • Minimum paid up capital of $50,000 for a Niche Licence or $100,000 a for a General Licence
  • Latest set of management accounts (both Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement) will be required for business entities incorporated for more than 18 months including entities with dormant status.
  • A corporate bank account under the business entity’s name with the latest bank statement reflecting the injection of the paid up capital.
  • An email address specifically for the operation of the travel agency business
  • All applicants must nominate a suitable person as the Key Executive. The Key Executive is responsible for the day-to-day administration and operations of the travel agent. She/he should preferable be a director of the business and/or have managerial experience in the travel business.
    • Directors’ Resolution on the appointment of the Key Executive. The Directors’ Resolution must be printed on the business entity’s letter head and signed by more than 50% of all directors if the entity has two or more directors.
    • A front and back copy of the Key Executive’s identification card (e.g. NRIC, Employment Pass)
    • A copy of the Key Executive’s Resume, including previous employment, experience and qualifications.
  • Specify an office (e.g. home office scheme, commercial office) to be used for the conduct of the travel agency business. You may apply without an office premises first and seek STB’s pre-approval. Confirmation of the office premises must be submitted within 3 months of the pre-approval.

Fees?

  • An application fee of $200 is payable.
  • A licence fee of $400 is payable upon approval of the licence application.
  • Validity period: 2 years from date of issue
  • Processing time: 1-2 weeks upon submission of complete supporting documents.

Renewal:

  • Required to renew before the licence expired
  • Submit Audited Accounts for the preceding 2 years
  • Submit Annual Business Profile Returns for the preceding 2 years
  • Increase paid up capital if the net value of the business is below the required of $50,000 (for Niche Licence) or $100,000 (for General Licence)
  • Pay outstanding fines, composition sums and financial penalties
  • Provide any other details as required by the Board
  • A Licence fee of $400 is to be paid before the licence is renewed. The renewed licence will be mailed to the business registered address.

Where to apply?

Tourist Guide Licence

A Tourist Guide Licence and a pass in the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Tourist Guide Course are requirements a person who will become a tour guide has to fulfil.

Fees & validity?

  • A licence fee of $72 is payable upon approval of the licence application.
  • Validity period: 3 years from date of issue
  • Processing time: 4 weeks from the last day of the Tourist Guide practical examination

Who can apply?

  • Above 21 years old
  • Medically fit
  • Be highly proficient in the language you wish to guide in
  • Possess a secondary education (GCE ‘O’ levels or equivalent)