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How to Get a Travel Agent License in India: A Step-by-Step Guide

August 09, 2023
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The travel and tourism industry—also known as tour operators and agencies—is a large employer in India and one of its key businesses. The rapid growth in tourism businesses demonstrates the fast growth of new enterprises and start-ups in India. The travel and tourism sector are anticipated to contribute more than a billion dollars to our GDP by 2027.

Thus, this quicker growth rate will have a considerable favorable effect on it. As a result, everyone in this region believes that the next 10 to 20 years will be fruitful. It's time to examine in-depth information on how to get into the travel business or how to get a travel agent license!

Who is a Travel Agent?

A Licensed Travel Agent is defined by the government as any person or business that assists in making arrangements for:

  • Tickets for transport, whether by rail, road, air, or sea,
  • Accommodation can be found domestically or internationally.
  • Tailored entertainment and excursion packages
  • Any services connected to tourism.

How can you get the government acknowledgment?

The individual must have authorization from the Additional Director-General of the Ministry of Tourism, and this authorization is originally valid for a period of five years. The applicable Regional Director and five-person TAAI team must submit an inspection and preliminary report before granting this designation. Following the original duration, a request must be made to have the recognition renewed or extended.

Before extending the recognition for a further five years, the pertinent Regional Director and one TAAI member will assess the accompanying documents after the request has been submitted. The Travel Trade Division will also examine the provided documentation before processing the renewal. In around 60 working days, the complete procedure will be finished.

Requirements for Employees

  • The agency must be owned by or administered by a full-time employee who is knowledgeable and competent.
  • Building efficient and effective communication skills must receive a lot of attention.
  • It must have at least four staff members, with at least one of them holding an AICTE-accredited degree in tourism and travel management.
  • The academic requirements may be lowered if the personnel has extraordinary experience and has worked for at least three years for an IATA or UFTA agency.

How to get a travel agent license - Application steps

The application for recognition in the prescribed format must be submitted in duplicate together with the necessary documentation.

  • The agency's capital must be at least Rs. 3.00 lakh.
  • Along with audited financial accounts, a certificate from a Chartered Accountant confirming the agency's capital investment is needed.
  • The business must have IATA authorization, or it must act as a general or passenger sales agent for a carrier that has received such authorization.
  • The organization was required to have been in existence for at least a year prior to applying.
  • The company's office must be organized and maintained in India. The workplace needs to be at least 100 square feet in places that are more than 1000 meters above sea level.

Other Government Requirement

  • The organization must have submitted its IT return for the year in question.
  • A cost of INR 3,000 is required to be paid for recognition.
  • In the agency's office, the Certificate of Approval must always be visible.
  • The Ministry of Tourism's judgement is final in all cases involving the recognition and renewal of licenses.
  • Additionally, the Ministry of Tourism has the authority to revoke a license if it sees fit.
  • The corporation will initially get a Show Cause Notice advising it of the impending decision.

How to become government of India approved Travel Agent?

Registration as a travel agent or agency recognized by the Government of India is desirable, even if it is not compulsory. The system for travel agency recognition (TA) strives to encourage high standards of quality and service in the travel industry. To be registered by the Government of India, a travel agency must adhere to specific standards involving money invested, personnel hired, maintenance of a minimum office area, and other conditions. To become a travel agency authorized by the Indian government, you must furthermore submit an application in the correct manner to the Ministry of Tourism.

How to get a Travel agent certification

A travel agent certification is proof that a person has completed the necessary training to work as a travel agent. After passing an exam and completing a course, candidates can get these certificates. In essence, these programs train students for careers as travel agents with cruise lines, airlines, travel agencies, corporate travel divisions, and tour operators.

To get travel agent certification, follow the following steps:

  • Research certification programs
  • Meet eligibility requirements
  • Complete training or education requirements
  • Pass the certification exam
  • Maintain certification

Extra Tip: You may also register in certification programs that provide specializations in niches like cruises, luxury travel, or adventure travel if you want to advance in your travel business. Such specialization might help you stand out and offer knowledge in a certain field. TBO Academy offers free travel courses

Conclusion

Starting up as a travel agent is a great option for new company entrepreneurs. In conclusion, if you want to work in India's booming travel business, you must know how license as a travel agent. Certain capital, office, and employee requirements must be met in order to receive government recognition. Registration as a government-approved travel agency is encouraged but not required to sustain high standards. Similarly, having a certification as a travel agent shows proficiency and dedication to the industry and keeps you updated with the changing industry’s landscape. Aspiring travel agents may enter the exciting world of travel and tourism with confidence and be well-positioned for success in this quickly expanding industry with ongoing learning. A registered and licensed travel agency guarantees trustworthiness, complies with the law, and provides access to a wealth of options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is a Travel Agent?

A1. A Travel Agent is a person or business that arranges transportation, accommodation, entertainment, and other tourism-related services.

Q2. How to get a Travel Agent license in India?

A2. Apply in the prescribed format, meet capital requirements (Rs. 3.00 lakh), have IATA authorization, and maintain an office in India.

Q3. What are the employee requirements for a licensed Travel Agency?

A3. At least four staff members, one with an AICTE-accredited degree in tourism or three years of experience with IATA/UFTA agency.

Q4. What are the other government requirements for a Travel Agent license?

A4. Submission of IT return, visible Certificate of Approval in the office, final decision by the Ministry of Tourism.

Author
Anamika Chauhan
Anamika Chauhan is a Senior Content Writer at TBO Academy. Specializing in B2B content, she works closely with the marketing team to bring out the outlook about the industry in her write-ups. Connect with her on LinkedIn or write to her at anamika.chauhan@tbo.com