To operate the business of a Domestic Tour Operator in India, one should receive recognition from the Ministry of Tourism,  Government of India. The licence for tour operators will be granted based on the Inspection Report or on the Recommendations of a Committee consisting of concerned Regional Director and a member of ADTOI. The licence will be granted initially for a period of five years and can be renewed

All tour operators or tourist transport operators who want to operate Caravan vehicles must have a minimum of two Caravan Vehicles in the name of the agency. Caravans are specially built vehicles for the purpose of travel, leisure and accommodation. Such caravan vehicles must be equipped with the following minimum features :

i.    A Sofa cum bed for 2 people.

ii.    Kitchenette with fridge and microwave oven. 

iii.    There must be a toilet cubicle with a hand shower and sufficient freshwater storage. 

iv.    There shall be a partition behind the driver.

v.    Communication between passenger and driver. 

vi.    Air- condition (desirable).

vii.    Eating table

viii.    Audio / video facility. 

ix.    Complete charging system – external and internal

x.    GPS – (desirable). The caravan would enable themselves with GPS facility as and when it becomes available. 

xi.    Vehicle to be Bharat Stage II compliant.


A Caravan Tour Operator must apply for the licence in the proper manner. Its 

●    Register on https://etraveltradeapproval.nic.in/User/Default.aspx.

●    The application for approval shall be submitted online through etraveltradeapproval.nic.in. The fee would be made payable to the Pay & Accounts Officer, Ministry of Tourism in the form of online payment.

●    Upload scanned documents

●    The payment of a fee of Rs. 3000/- should be made online only through Debit/Credit Cards, e-banking etc.

●    A signed copy of the pledge of commitment towards “Safe & Honourable Tourism” should be attached with the application.

●    Two focal points would be nominated (i.e., from HRD, security side etc.) at the time of applying for approval by the DTO in the case of organizations which have more than 25 personnel. In the case of DTOs with less than 25 personnel, one focal point would have to be nominated.


●    DTO should have a minimum Paid-up Capital (Capital employed) of Rs. 3.00 lakh for rest of India and Rs. 50, 000/- for the agencies located in the North-Eastern region, remote and rural areas duly supported by the latest audited Balance Sheet/firm’s Statutory Auditor’s certificate. 

●    The turn-over of the firm from tour operation business only should be a minimum of Rs. 20.00 lakhs duly supported by Chartered Accountant’s certificate. 

●    The Domestic Tour operator has an office under the charge of a full-time member of their staff, who is adequately trained/experienced in matters regarding transport, accommodation, currency, customs regulations and general information about travel and tourism-related services. However, greater emphasis may be given to effective communication skills in Hindi and English.

●    There should be a minimum of four qualified staff out of which at least two should have Diploma/Degree in Travel and Tourism from a recognized university, IITTM or an institution approved by AICTE. The academic qualifications may be relaxed in case of experienced personnel in Airlines, Shipping, Transport, PR Agencies, Hotels and other corporate bodies and those who have 2 years’ experience with Ministry of Tourism approved tour operators

●    Similarly, for the agencies located in North-east, religious, remote and rural areas, there should be a minimum of two qualified staff.

●    The Domestic Tour Operator should have been in operation for a minimum period of one year before the date of application.

●    The minimum office space should be at least 150 sq. ft for rest of India and 100 sq. ft for hilly areas which are above 1000 meters from sea level. Besides, the office should be located in neat and clean surroundings and equipped with telephone, fax and computer/computer reservation system etc. There should be sufficient space for reception and easy access to toilets.

●    The Domestic Tour operator should be an income tax assessee and should have filed Income Tax Returns for the last or current assessment 3 years. They should have registered for Service Tax and made full payment of the assessed service tax for the preceding year. 

●    The Domestic Tour Operators should employ only Regional Guides trained and licensed by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and State level Guides as well as local guides approved by the State Governments. 

●    The Domestic Tour operator shall contract/use approved specialized agencies in the field of Adventure Options and related services for the tourists.

List of Documents

i.    Online application duly filled in.

ii.    Two attested photographs.

iii.    Documentary proof (preferably registration certificates from the Government) in support of the beginning of operations of your firm. 

iv.    A signed copy of the Pledge of Commitment towards “Safe & Honourable Tourism”. The pledge is attached in English & Hindi as Annexure I & II, respectively.

v.    A copy of the complete Audited Balance Sheet along with the Director’s Report for the latest financial year.

vi.    Income Tax Acknowledgement for the latest assessment year. 

vii.    Service Tax Registration Number from the concerned authority.

viii.    Certificate of firm’s Statutory Auditor stating the Paid-up Capital not less than Rs. 3.00 lakh.

ix.    Reference letter from Bank on its original letterhead regarding the firm’s bank account with address and telephone numbers.

x.    Details of staff employed giving names, educational qualification & experience if any in the tourism field, and length of service in your organization (copies of certificates to be enclosed).
xi.    List of Directors/Partners or name of the Proprietor. 

xii.    Details of office premises, whether located in a commercial or residential area, exact office space in sq. ft. (at least 150 sq. ft for rest of India and 100 sq. ft for hilly areas which are located above 1000 meters from sea level) and accessibility to toilet and reception area.

xiii.    Certificate of Statutory Auditor of the firm on original letterhead in support of turnover from domestic tour operations only which should not be less than Rs. 20.00 Lakh during the last financial/calendar year.

xiv.    Documents duly stamped & attested by the Managing Director / Managing Partner/ Proprietor of the firm.


eStartIndia Team

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