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Operating A Travel Agency In Cyprus

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Information on permits required to operate a Cyprus travel agency

Praitori Village                                     Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

Establishment and Operation of Tourist and Travel Agencies
    
Description

In order to establish and operate a Tourist and Travel Agency in the Republic of Cyprus, natural and legal persons of EU member states need to obtain the licence for the establishment and operation of a tourist and travel agency by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO).

Eligibility Criteria

A licence to establish and operate a Tourist and Travel Agency in the Republic of Cyprus can be granted only to natural persons residents in the Republic of Cyprus or in another member state or legal persons 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 offence which entails absence of honesty or moral turpitude or not have been convicted for a violation of any legislation for which the Organisation 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.

Application Procedure

The application for the Establishment of a Tourist and Travel Agency can be submitted either electronically through the PSC Cyprus Portal or by post/hand to the competent authority. Please note that the submission of the aforementioned online application form necessitates the use of an electronic signature, which has to be under the sole control of the applicant.

Cyprus Tourism Organisation

P.O.Box 24535,

1390 Nicosia

Tel. +357 22691163, +357 22691282

Fax +357 22338541

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 natural person). In the case of online application´s submission, a copy of the certificate is attached to the application, while the original certificate must be submitted prior to the approval of the application;

copy of Certificate of Incorporation (in case of a legal entity);

copy of Articles and Memorandum 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).

Please note the the above named documents should be submitted not later than 60 days after the issue or validation by the Company Registrar.

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). In the case of online application´s submission, a copy of the certificates is attached to the application, while the original certificate must be submitted prior to the approval of the application.

«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 prievailing in the Tourism Industry;

copy of evidence of citizenship.

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.

On site inspections are carried out by CTO’s officers.

The applicant is informed regarding the authorisation decision within 3 months from the date that the application form and supporting documents were duly submitted.

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 case where the guarantee is given by a letter of guarantee, the same shall be approved by the Cyprus Tourism Organization, be valid for at least two years and renewed at least two months before the expiration thereof. 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.

Obligations and Supervision

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation 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 recognised 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 Cyprus Tourist Organisation within a month.

Furthermore, according to the Organisation’s policy it is desirable that:

(i) the names derive from Cypriot culture, history, civilisation 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 Organisation 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 Organisation to be accordingly informed, before they proceed with the Registrar of Companies;

notify the Cyprus Tourist Organisation 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 Cyprus Tourism Organisation:

i.the drafts of every advertising leaflet, issue of programs or any other printed publication , not including prices, which are about to be circulate, and

ii.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.

Other Associations

Association of Cyprus Travel Agents

24, Stassicratous Street,

Office:M2,

1065 Nicosia

P.O. BOX 22369, 1521 Nicosia

Telephone: + 357 22 666435

Fax: +357 22 660330

Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises

P.O. Box 20958,

1665 Nicosia

Tel.: +357 22374433

Fax : +357 22374466

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

8, I. Metaxa Street,

Athens,

173 43 Aghios Dimitrios

GREECE

Tel.: +30 210 9768030

Fax : +30 210 9768038

Source PSC

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