If you are looking to engage in tourism related business in Thailand, you should apply for a tourism license. This license can be obtained from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Since tourism business is restricted to foreigners under the Foreign Business Act, a foreigner may only engage or invest in such business through a Thai limited company.
“Tourism business” is a business entity providing services for tourists, for example organizing or operating tours, sight seeing, guide services and more. What it does not include is leasing of vehicles, transportation of passengers or facilitating hotel bookings and reservations. Moreover, a tourism business operator cannot act as an agent, but must sell its services directly to the end users – tourists.
In order to be eligible for obtaining a tourism license, the applicant needs to meet the following requirements:
Since tourism is essential to Thai economy and national reputation, authorities place a big importance on credibility of tour businesses. Those as such have to provide evidence of credibility of their operations, either by undergoing a screening at the police station or obtaining a reference from two licensed tour operators.
Last step after obtaining a tourism license from TAT is to pay official fees and security deposit. The applicant will be required to deposit a security fee in cash, cashiers cheque or bank guarantee of:
Once issued, the tourism license is valid for two years from the date of issue. To continue operating the business, the license must be renewed within 120 days prior to the expiry date. In the event of company dissolution, the license needs to be handed over to TAT within the last 30 days of its validity.