How to establish a Tour Operating Business | Western Cape Government

How to establish a Tour Operating Business


A tour operator is any person who owns a business, which transports paying tourists on scheduled itineraries and makes arrangements for their clients in terms of accommodation, transport and excursions. These businesses often own vehicles to transport tourists and the owners of these enterprises often accompany tour parties.

There are three kinds of tour operators

  • In-bound tour operators provide services mainly to foreign visitors to South Africa.
  • Out-bound tour operators provide services to clients in South Africa wishing to travel to destinations outside of the country.
  • Local tour operators provide services to domestic clients for tours within South Africa.


Road Transportation Permits

All vehicles carrying paying passengers must have a Road Transportation Permit. Application must be made to the Local Transportation Board for a permit. You need to be clear on your application that you will be transporting tourists and mark clearly the route that will be used.

Public Driving Permits (also called a Public Operating Licence)

To drive paying passengers (tourists) on public roads, you are required by law to have a public driving permit. You need to have a valid driving licence according to the vehicle you are driving, and must apply to the Traffic Licensing Department for a Public Driving Permit.

If you are also going to guide tourists, the tourist guiding legislation will apply. For more information, see the section on "How to Establish a Tour Guiding Service"

The content on this page was last updated on 15 March 2014