11 Essential Requirements for Travel Agency in South Africa


Do you plan on starting up a travel agency in South Africa? If yes, then you might be pondering along the lines of what the requirements for travel agency in South Africa might be. Everything you need to know will be outlined in this article.

Starting a travel agency in South Africa has it’s own peculiarities and it all depends on your niche. Some of the basic things you need are, first, proper training and valid certifications. You cannot start a travel agency without knowing the ins and outs of the business.

Legit travel agencies in South Africa follow several protocols and meet certain criteria. These requirements for travel agency in South Africa will be explained as you read on.

Basic Requirements for Travel Agency in South Africa

To establish or start a credible travel agency in South Africa, you need to meet the following criteria or requirements:

1. You Need To Be Properly Trained

This is the very first step before anything else. You need to know what you’re getting into. You need to know how to run a travel agency and manage it effectively. You need to know crisis management and many other things, apart from booking flights. Being properly trained gives you a picture of what to expect and prepares you to face them.

2. You Need to Get Registered

This is the next big step after undergoing training. It is one of the most looked-out criteria amongst the requirements for travel agency in South Africa. People will not trust an unregistered travel agency with their flight money and other things. Registering your business with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) is the first step in gaining your client’s trust. You can contact CIPC via the following channels;

Postal Address: PO Box 400, Pretoria, 0001.

Physical Address: The DTIC Campus, Entfutfukweni, Block F, 77 Meintjies Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria.

Website: www.cipcregistration.co.za

Phone numbers: 086 100 2472 and 012 394 9573

3. Get a License

Another very important criteria to meet out of the requirements for travel agency in South Africa includes getting a license. A license is very important, it provides your clients with substantial evidence to support your credibility. A license speaks for itself, conveying and asserting it’s authority. You can get a license from the relevant local authority in your region.

4. You Need to Get a Tourism Certification

Getting a tourism certification depends on whether you include tourism as part of your packages. To get a tourism certification, all you have to do is simply register your travel agency with the South African Tourism Board or South African Tourism Agency (SATOUR).

To contact the South African Tourism Board (SATOUR), you can use the following details:

Physical Address: Bojanala House, 90 Protea Road, Chislehurston, Johannesburg, 2196.

Website: www.southafrica.net

Email Address: travel@southafrica.net

Phone number: 011 895 3000

5. You Need to Join Necessary Associations in the Industry

Making important associations in the industry is one of the key requirements for travel agency in South Africa. Connecting and building necessary associations in the industry makes you more relevant.

They provide communities that you can leverage for important information and networks. Some associations within the industry that you can join are the Association of South African Travel Agents (ASATA) and the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA).

To contact these associations, use the following details:

Association of South African Travel Agents Postal Address: PO Box 650539

Physical Address: Benmore, 2010, South Africa

Website: www.asata.co.za

Email: general@asata.co.za

Phone number: +27 (0) 872654974

For the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), their contact information includes:

Physical Address: Ground Floor, Rosebank Terrace North, 23 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg, Gauteng 2196, South Africa

Website: www.satsa.com

Email: info@satsa.co.za

Phone number: +27 (11) 8869996

6. You Need Insurance

A company without insurance may not last very long. Getting public liability insurance is one of the requirements for travel agency in South Africa. Not only that, you have to get professional indemnity insurance.

According to Shackleton Risk Management, Professional indemnity insurance is a form of insurance that protects you from financial losses in the event that a client alleges negligence, errors or omissions, or breach of professional duty resulting in damage or loss. There are many institutes that provide such insurance in South Africa, all with their own different fees. Choose the institute you can afford and trust.

7. You Need a Fidelity Fund Certificate

Obtaining a Fidelity Fund Certificate is very essential, amongst other requirements for travel agencies in South Africa. You can get it from the South African Tourism Board (SATOUR).

8. You Need to have Necessary Qualifications

To be a standard travel agency, you need to have undergone all the necessary training and gotten qualifications. This entails that everyone working in the travel agency must be trained and qualified. This eliminates certain levels of ignorance that are not permitted in the travel agency.

9. You Need to Register for VAT

Most people are afraid of the 3-word acronym called VAT but there are advantages for you. Registering for VAT helps you save costs in the long run. You can only register for Value-added Tax (VAT) when the annual turnover of your company exceeds R1 million. You can register with the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

10. You Must be Compliant to all the Laws and Regulations

There are certain laws you must adhere to within the travel agency. This is one of the key requirements for travel agency in South Africa. Some of these laws include the National Credit Act, Consumer Protection Act and others. You can check out the relevant laws and regulations in the travel industry.

11. You Need some Banking Requirements

This is very important, as the finances of the business are the water that helps it flourish. To properly manage the finances of your travel agency, create a separate bank account for it. Ensure compliance with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA)


All the requirements for travel agency in South Africa stated above are necessary but also depends on your niche within the travel industry. Niches include travel agent, travel operators, or online travel agency. For further inquiries, it is important you consult an industry expert and a legal practitioner to help you meet all the requirements.

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