Setup A Travel and Tourism Company in Saudi Arabia

travel and tourism business in ksa

Under its Vision 2030 economic diversification initiative, the Saudi Arabian government has prioritized the travel, tourism, and entertainment sectors. The goal is to boost domestic household expenditure on entertainment and leisure activities and position the country as a leading global travel destination.

Today, many foreign investors and entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia find travel tourism companies one of the fastest-growing in the upcoming years. Are you also one of those who want to invest in Saudi Arabia by setting up a tourism and travel agency? 

In this blog, Business Link consultants will be your ultimate advisor for setting up a business in Saudi Arabia. From choosing the best location in Saudi Arabia for a tourism company to selecting the right legal form for your company, getting the required licenses and registration, and complying with tax and government regulations. 

Travel and Tourism Company in Saudi Arabia

Undoubtedly, the oil sector is playing an essential role in the growth of Saudi Arabia’s economy. Nevertheless, we should not forget the government’s Vision 2030. The Saudi Vision 2030 plan aims to diversify the economy and promote the country as a global destination. It is building a strong foundation to make the country less oil-dependent.

Earlier, people with business visas and pilgrims were allowed to visit the country. But you won’t believe that within ten days of implementing the decision to issue an instant tourist visa, about 24,000 foreigners visited the Kingdom annually. 

The Saudi Vision has also reshaped the roadmap for the economic growth of the KSA to a large extent. As a part of Vision 2030, the Saudi government emphasizes expanding the travel tourism industry with the best tourism projects of more than $810 billion. 

Obtaining a Travel and Tourism Company License in KSA

First: Choose the legal form

You can establish a limited liability company (LLC) or a branch of a foreign company. An LLC requires at least two shareholders (one must be a Saudi national) and a minimum capital of SAR 500,000. A branch of a foreign company requires a minimum capital of SAR 100,000 and a local agent or sponsor.

Second: Ministry of Commerce and Investment Registration

For this step, provide a copy of the ID or passport, a letter from the local agent or sponsor (if applicable), and fees. 

Third: Apply for a Commercial Registration (CR)

You will need to provide your company name certificate. Articles of association or branch agreement (if applicable). Your lease contract or ownership deed for your office premises. A bank certificate showing your capital deposit. Your shareholders’ IDs or passports, your local agent’s or sponsor’s ID or passport (if applicable), and fee payment. 

Fourth: Membership of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the region 

You will need to provide your CR certificate. Your lease contract or ownership deed for your office premises, your shareholders’ IDs or passports. Also, you will need your local agent’s or sponsor’s ID or passport (if applicable) and fee payment. 

The Government of Saudi Arabia has well designed and developed a separate e-portal to apply for any licenses for tourism activities such as:

  • Tour Operator/Organizer License,
  • Tourism & Travel Agency License,
  • Tourist Guide License,
  • Tourism Accommodation Facility License. 

The e-licensing service portal has made it effortless for tourism license seekers. Apart from obtaining a new travel business license, this portal also provides various other perks, for instance:

  • License modification
  • Trade name modification
  • Location change
  • Add or cancel any activity
  • Renewal
  • Transfer
  • License cancellation
  • Updating the current data, etc.

There are two principal goals of the Saudi government in providing the e-government procedure:

  1. To increase speed, accuracy, performance, and transparency
  2. To meet the targeted goals of the Government as fast as possible without any hassle

Prerequisites for Obtaining the License:

  1. Commercial registration (Except in the case of tourist guides activity license)
  2. Municipal license (Except in the case of tourist guides activity license)
  3. An account in the unified access service
  4. National address
  5. Online application on the Ministry of Tourism website 
  6. Trademark registration 
  7. The non-refundable financial consideration.
  8. Once you complete all the above procedures, your license will be issued, and you can print it online.

Steps for religious tourism

1. Umrah and Hajj operator license:

This allows you to organize and sell Umrah packages for pilgrims within Saudi Arabia or abroad. You need to provide these documents:

  • The CR certificate
  • The CCI membership certificate
  • A travel and tourism license certificate
  •  SAR 500,000 bank guarantee
  • Professional liability insurance
  • The proof of hiring at least one manager with a bachelor’s degree in tourism or similar major
  • Certificate of completion of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah training course on Umrah operator regulations

Business Link Partnership 

Setting up a travel tourism company in KSA is one of your commendable choices, but it requires a lot of technical knowledge. It might be difficult or sometimes impossible for an individual to go through all these processes to set up his travel business in the Kingdom.

Business Link team is your savior through this lengthy and complex procedure. Our team will be your ultimate destination to assist in bringing your dream travel agency to reality in Saudi Arabia. The only reason is our strong team of highly professional business setup consultants with +15 years of experience supporting hundreds of foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and local Saudi citizens in setting up any business in KSA.