Companies or persons in the business of making travel arrangements or conducting tours in or outside of Singapore are required to apply for a Travel Agent Licence under the Travel Agents Act (Chapter 334).
Under Section 4 of the Travel Agents Act, a person carries on the business of a travel agent if the person carries on, or advertTravel ises or holds himself out as carrying on, a business of any of the following:
This section applies only where transactions in relation to any of the activities described above are carried out in Singapore. For example, a travel agent based overseas who arranges and sells a travel package outside of Singapore, and for which payment is collected outside of Singapore, does not require a Travel Agent Licence, even if the travel package includes travel to or from Singapore.
A person does not require a Travel Agent Licence in the following scenarios:
Type of activity carried out/exempted entity
For activity (1) above, the person carries on the activity only in respect of a conveyance the person owns.
A person providing cruising on his/her own personal yacht
For activities (1) or (3) above, the person carries on the activity only in respect of a conveyance that is:
· used for a regular route service within the meaning of the Bus Services Industry Act 2015 (Act 30 of 2015); or
· used for a community bus service or courtesy bus service, within the meaning of the Bus Services Industry Act 2015, and that travels only within Singapore; or
· used for a train service within the meaning of the Public Transport Council Act (Cap. 259B).
SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT) providing train services
For activity (2) above, the person carries on the activity only in respect of:
· a conveyance the person owns; and
· a hotel or similar boarding premises the person owns or operates.
A hotel using its own bus to provide transfer services between the hotel and airport
For activity (4) above, the person carries on the activity only in respect of any place or point of interest that the person owns or operates.
A museum conducting tours within the museum itself
The person supplies a tour where participants only visit places or points of interest within Singapore and where:
· the person does not provide any conveyance to the participants of the tour; or
· every participant is required to contribute to the movement of the conveyance.
A person providing a walking, cycling or segway tour
The person supplies a right to travel on any conveyance only within Singapore and does not carry on a business of supplying any tour.
A bus operator that solely provides transport
The person supplies services to a licensee for the purposes of a tour.
A tourist guide providing guiding services to a licensee for the licensee’s tour
The person is one of the following exempted entities:
· Government and statutory boards
· Institutions of a Public Character (IPC)
The examples above are for illustration purposes only and are not exhaustive. Please seek independent legal advice if you are unsure whether you need a Travel Agent Licence.
Please note that engaging in the business of a Travel Agent without a valid Travel Agent Licence is an offence under the Travel Agents Act.
TYPES OF TRAVEL AGENT LICENCES
STB currently offers 2 types of travel agent licences.
Travel agents who intend to sell, arrange or advertise only tours within Singapore, that provide conveyance to participants but without any right of accommodation (e.g. sit-in coach tours)
Please see below for application and renewal of licences.
Travel agents conducting any other activity beyond what is described in the scope of a Niche Licence
COMPOSITIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE FINANCIAL PENALTIES
Any person who contravenes any provision of the Travel Agents Act (Chapter 334) or the Travel Agents Regulations shall be liable to one or more of the following:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How can I log in to Travel Agents and Tourist Guides Licensing System (TRUST)?
Please log in with your Singpass details.
2. How do I make payment for the application fee or licence fee?
Upon completing the online application for a new licence or renewal of licence via Travel Agents and Tourist Guides Licensing System (TRUST), you will be directed to the e-payment page to select any of the payment options (ie. VISA or Mastercard).
3. How do I know if my application is successful?
A letter accompanied with a physical licence will be mailed to your business operating address via registered article post.
4. What will happen if I do not renew my licence before 31 December?
Your current licence will expire, and you will need to re-apply for a new licence. An application fee will be payable on top of the licence fee.
5. What is the penalty for carrying on business of travel agent without a licence?
Travel agent found operating without a valid licence will be liable to a maximum fine of S$25,000 or up to 2 years imprisonment or both.
6. How do I make payment for composition and administrative financial penalty?
Please log in to Travel Agents and Tourist Guides Licensing System (TRUST) and follow the instructions on the letter sent.
7. How do I know if a travel agent is licensed?
Please refer to the Travel Agent Directory of TRUST.
For clarification, please contact us at email@example.com.
Return call within 3 working days
Business Entity Details Update Up to 5 working days upon successful submission of all required documents and completed information via the TRUST website
Processing of New Licence Application Up to 10 working days upon successful submission of all required documents and completed information via the TRUST website
Processing of Renewal Application
Up to 10 working days upon successful submission of all required documents and completed information via the TRUST website, including payment of any outstanding fines, composition sums and financial penalties.