Malta has a great touristic potential as it has a very developed infrastructure and modern accommodation facilities. In 2014, Malta has been voted as the country with the most beautiful islands in the world which is a strong reason for foreign investors to start opening travel agencies in the country. The Maltese government has also discovered the benefits that tourism services bring to the country which is why, in 1999, the Malta Travel and Tourism Services Act was adopted followed by the establishment of the Malta Tourism Authority.
According to the Tourism Authority, there are four types of tourism licenses for enterprisers looking to set up a company in Malta under the form of a travel agency. They can apply for an outgoing travel agent license, a destination management company license, an incoming tourism agent license and an excursion organizer license. All licenses are issued by the Licensing Unit of the Malta Tourism Authority.
The application file for receiving the license for a Maltese travel agency includes the following documents:
- the special application form,
- the registration fee that must be paid with the Malta Tourism Authority,
- copies of the applicant’s and operator’s identification papers,
- clean criminal records of both applicant and operator issued by the police,
- the operator’s CV,
- the blueprints of the location where the agency will operate,
- companies must also submit the articles of association,
Once this stage of the registration is completed, the Malta Tourism Authority will issue a tourism compliance certificate.
In order to properly function, a travel agency must comply with the following requirements:
- obtain a full development permit with the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA),
- conclude an insurance right after obtaining the compliance certificate,
- submit evidence of being member of the International Air Transport Association.
The Licensing Unit of the Malta Tourism Authority must inspect the location of the agency before starting operating. Destination management companies (DMC) are required to have one year experience as an incoming travel agency before receiving the licenses.