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Opening a Tour Operator in Italy

Opening a Tour Operator in Italy

Updated on Monday 10th August 2015

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Opening-a-Tour-Operator-in-ItalyTour operators and tour guides in Italy fall under the Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications. However, the Italian legislation allows tour operators to obtain licenses in a certain region of the country and provide those services in that region. Since the national legislation infringes the EU Directive, the Italian Parliament has passed a new legislation called the European Law No. 97 of 2013 through which the validity of the accreditation of tour operators and tour guides will cover the whole national territory. The Law also stipulated that EU citizens, accredited as tour operators, are allowed to provide their services in Italy.

Tourism Law in Italy

The newest version of the Italian Tourism Law was launched in 2011 and it was named the Code of Tourism. The Code regulates the tourism sector at national level and complies with all EU requirements. The new Code also provides new and simplified regulations for setting up a travel agency or a tour operator in Italy. The legislation also allows for tighter competition between tour operators in order to increase the quality of services.

Additionally, the Italian legislation also provisions enhanced protection of consumers and establishes incentives for those setting up companies in the tourism industry in Italy.

Considering that until recently tour operators would operate in certain regions only, the Italian Constitutional Court established that tour guides and other professions related to the tourism industry will respect the EU legislation regarding these matters.

Obtaining a tour guide certificate in Italy

The existing EU legislation allows all EU citizens to apply for tour guide certificate or a tour manager certificate which they can use at European level. The tour manager certificate is issued to EU citizens conducting closed circuit tours only. Tour guide certificates, on the other hand, are available for Italian tour operators providing their services outside the country. Italian tour operators may only apply for tour managers certificates, if conducting their business in Italy. Currently, the exam to become a tour operator in Italy is held every two years.

For complete information about becoming a tour operator, please contact our Italian law firm.




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