Inbound Tour Operator Registration - Queensland

Service summary

You must be registered to conduct business in Queensland if you are an inbound tour operator or carrying on inbound tour activities which includes the sale of travel packages for people travelling in Queensland to overseas wholesalers, retailers, or corporate buyers for an inclusive price and your overseas sales account is more than 20 per cent of the total number of travel packages sold in the last 12 months.

Individuals or corporations commencing business as inbound tour operators must register prior to commencing business and your registration must remain current.

It is important that you include the name(s) of 'associated persons' (i.e. people who would be or are in effective control of the business, but are not the applicant for registration), on the application or renewal application.

If you provide services to tourists on a not for profit basis or apply any net proceeds gained solely for a community purpose (e.g. charity), you do not need to be registered.

If you are a tour guide, who for reward personally supplies guiding services to tourists travelling with tours in Queensland, which also includes if you do work experience as a tour guide, you do not need to be registered, but must still comply with those parts of the Act that apply to them, such as the ban on unconscionable conduct.

The reward may include payment, accommodation, flights or food.

Guiding services include accompanying tourists, doing something else for them (such as translating), giving tourists information or advice, or coordinating or leading their activities.

Tour guides who work overseas and travel with tours in Queensland, and tour guides who offer services as part of formal or informal work experience, must still comply with the guidelines of the Tourism Services Act 2003.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Definition of terms

Associated person

an associated person of an applicant for registration or renewal of registration is a person who is not the applicant, but nevertheless is, or would be if the registration were granted or renewed, in effective control of the applicants business. A person who is in "effective control" of a business includes a person who: is regularly or usually in charge of the business; or regularly directs staff of the business in their duties; or is in a position to control or substantially influences the business. NOTE; If an applicant for registration or renewal of registration, or a registrant, is a corporation, each executive officer of the corporation is taken to be an "associated person" of the applicant or registrant.

Inbound tour operator
  1. An "inbound tour operator" is a person who alone or with others:
    1. carries on a business of selling to any of the following entities who are overseas entities, for an inclusive price, travel packages that include persons visiting, or travelling in, Queensland
      1. wholesalers of travel packages;
      2. retailers of travel packages;
      3. corporate buyers of travel packages, including, for example, an overseas corporation that buys travel packages for its employees; or
    2. holds himself, herself or itself out in any way as carrying on a business mentioned in paragraph (a); or
    3. is entitled to share in the income of a business mentioned in paragraph (a).
  2. For subsection (1), it is immaterial whether or not the person (a)has a place of business in Queensland; or (b)directly or indirectly provides other tourism services to persons who use a travel package of the inbound tour operator.
  3. A person mentioned in subsection (1) (a), (b) or (c) is taken to "carry on the business of an inbound tour operator".
  4. Despite subsections (1)(c) and (3), a person is not an inbound tour operator, and is not taken to carry on the business of an inbound tour operator, only because the person is entitled to share, as a shareholder, in the income of the business of an inbound tour operator that is a corporation.
Tour guide
  1. An individual who, for reward, personally supplies guiding services to tourists.
  2. For subsection (1), an individual supplies guiding services for reward if the individual receives a payment or other benefit for supplying the services, regardless of
    1. who makes the payment or provides the other benefit; or
    2. where the payment is made or the other benefit is provided. Example of benefit other than money: provision of accommodation, flights or food.
  3. Also, for subsection (1), an individual is taken to supply guiding services for reward if he or she supplies the services as work experience, regardless of whether or not he or she is, or has an expectation he or she will be, later paid for supplying guiding services.
  4. Further, for subsection (1), an individual supplies guiding services whether the individual supplies the services for the whole, or only part, of the time the tourists are in Queensland.
Travel package

means the prearranged provision of a combination of activities, goods or services for one person that includes at least two of the following:

  1. accommodation, with or without the provision of food;
  2. guiding services;
  3. food other than food provided with accommodation;
  4. tourism activities. Examples of tourism activities: ballooning; rafting trips; bushwalking; fishing.
  5. translation services;
  6. transport, including transport to, from and within, Queensland;
  7. visiting, or introductions to, retailers at a travel destination;
  8. visiting tourist attractions at a travel destination, including, but not limited to, entry to the attractions.

Examples of tourist attractions: theme parks; places of entertainment; beaches; national parks.

  1. other activities, goods or services prescribed under a regulation.


You cannot transfer this registration.


1 year or 3 year registration



Issue fee 1 year registration


Issue fee 3 years registration


Criminal history check


Submit an "Inbound Tour Operators Form 1".

When you apply, you pay an application fee and a registration issue fee. If you withdraw your application, or are considered to have withdrawn your application by failing to supply additional requested information or documentation within a given time period, you will only have your registration issue fee refunded.

If conditions are made, you will be informed within 2 weeks of the decision. If there are changes to be made to your conditions of registration, you may be required to produce your registration certificate for amendment within a given timeframe of at least 14 days.

If your application is not approved, you will be notified in writing within 2 weeks of the decision being made and have your registration issue fee only refunded (not your application fee).

If you disagree with the decision, you can have it reviewed within 28 days by the Commercial and Consumer Tribunal. If you decide to ask for the decision to be reviewed, you must file a written notice of appeal with the director of the Commercial and Consumer Tribunal and serve a copy of the notice to the Commissioner for Fair Trading 7 days after filing the written notice in the Tribunal.

Additional information

Renewing your registration:

You must renew your registration before your current registration expires.

If further documentation (for your renewal application) is requested, this must be supplied by the given date or your application will be considered withdrawn and the renewal fee will be refunded.

If your renewal is not granted, you will be informed within 2 weeks of the decision being made and your registration renewal fee will be refunded. You are entitled to appeal a decision refusing your application for renewal in the same way as you are entitled to appeal a decision not to grant registration.

Applicants must undergo a criminal history check to confirm their suitability. The criminal history check applies for each person who appears on the application form. The fee applies to all applications and renewal notices.

You must inform the Unit within 30 days if you are convicted of a disqualifying offence.

Forms and further information are available on

Administering agency

Department of Justice and Attorney-General
Office of Fair Trading
Industry Licensing Unit

Act(s) name

Tourism Services Act 2003 (Queensland)

Regulation(s) name

Tourism Services Regulation 2003 (Queensland)

Contact details

Queensland Government Service Centre
Department of Justice and Attorney-General
Office of Fair Trading
Industry Licensing Unit

Operating address:
Upper Plaza Terrace
33 Charlotte Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Mailing address:
GPO Box 3111
Brisbane, Queensland 4001


07 3405 0985


13 QGOV (13 74 68)


07 3008 5933


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Supporting information


The information contained on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) web site, or via packages or other sources is intended for general guidance only.

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