The title of travel agency in Turkey is earned by becoming a member of Turkish Travel Agencies Association (“TÜRSAB”) and obtaining a business certificate to be issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Travel agencies can only legally start their activities after obtaining a business certificate from the Ministry.
I.1. The establishment and processing of Travel Agencies is regulated by the Travel Agencies Association Law No. 1618 and the Travel Agencies Regulation.
Section 3 of law No. 1618, with its article, Travel Agencies are grouped in 3 different groups according to their services.
Article 3 – Travel agencies are grouped into three groups according to their services.
A) (A) Group travel agencies – all travel agency services mentioned in Article 1
B) (B) Group travel agencies – international land, sea and air transport and sell tickets for regular tours of group (A) agencies.
C) (C) Group travel agencies – organize domestic tours only for Turkish citizens.
(B) and (C) group travel agencies cannot serve other travel agency services that are outside their services.
However, they will serve the services provided to them by group (A) travel agencies.
(A) group travel agencies are not asked to license the transport of passengers by road to international routes if they wish to use land transportation vehicles in their tours abroad. However, the suitability of the vehicle to the qualifications determined by the Ministry is sought.
II. TRAVEL AGENCY OPERATION LICENSE
Section 4 of law no. 1618. It is stated that it is mandatory to obtain a operation license from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in order to operate as a travel agency in Turkey and that the procedures and principles regarding the applications of those who want to obtain a operation license are determined by regulation.
II.1. Operation License Application
In accordance with the law no. 1618, business documents are issued to legal entities.
II.1.1. Operation License application is made in two stages.
1- Travel Agency Title request
In order to obtain a Travel Agency Operation License, the title of travel agency must first be obtained from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The titles requested for the travel agency to be established are listed sequentially with the petition written to the General Directorate of Investments and Enterprises of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (Department of Travel Agencies). The application is answered within 15 working days at the latest. The application result can be accessed from the title application inquiry screen on the ministry website.
If the title requests are not deemed appropriate as a result of the examination carried out by the Ministry in accordance with the provisions of the relevant legislation, a re-title request can be made.
2- Travel Agency Operation license request
After the title request is approved by the Ministry, applications are made to the Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) together with the requested information and documents.
Within 30 days of notification of the ministry’s title request, it is necessary to apply to the Turkish Association of Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) with the following documents.
· Application petition (in the petition: the name and surname of the company official who applied for the document, signature, open address, phone and fax number and application date are written by clearly stating what the request is)
· The declaration that the date and number of the Commercial Registry Newspaper, in which the company’s articles of limitation, including tourism or travel agency activity, are published as the subject of employment of the applicant legal entity,
· Trade Registry Confirmation regarding the latest situation in which the person or persons authorized to represent are also specified,
· Commitment to the Title of Agency
· T.C. identification number and judicial registration statement of the persons or persons authorized to represent the board members and company in the joint stock companies of the applicant, and the persons or persons authorized to represent the company and all partners and companies in other companies.
· The original or surrogate of the signature circular of the person or persons authorized to represent the legal entity,
· Declaration with the document belonging to the personnel of the travel agency and the workplace code of the Social Security Institution and the T.C identification number of the working personnel
Valid documents for travel agency personnel:
a) In the case of hotel management and tourism; to certify that he has completed his high school, associate degree or undergraduate education,
b) To certify that the information officer has a foreign language achievement certificate,
c) To certify that it has the guidance provided by the Ministry,
If the owners of the agency have one of the above-mentioned documents in case they actually work in the agency, the agency personnel are counted.
The original or approved copy of the foreign language document of the information officer,
– Information officer certificate is sufficient in Group C travel agency and foreign language information is not sought.
· On the values specified in Article 34 of the Law No. 4734;
a) Submitting to TÜRSAB the original letter of guarantee containing the title of agency and company, or the original document that the Central Treasurer’s Office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has been deposited in the account of the Central Bank Ankara branch .
b) Cash deposits must be deposited from the company account,
c) Cash deposits from the personal account are not accepted.
d) The title of the company must be written correctly in the guarantee.
Collateral amounts are determined separately for group A, B and C travel agencies.
(For each branch to be established, 25% of the specified amounts are determined at the time.)
• The requirements and establishment principles sought for the travel agency center also apply to each branch to be established.
II.2. Member Registration Process
As a result of the audit to be carried out by TÜRSAB, the travel agency candidate enterprises determined to have the conditions specified in the legislation are registered as TÜRSAB members with the payment of the member registration fee.
II.3. Membership Cancellation
Due to the fact that the application of the travel agency, which was deemed appropriate by TÜRSAB and reported to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, was not deemed appropriate by the Ministry, the memberships of those who did not receive a operation license were canceled and the member registration fee was refunded to them by TÜRSAB.
II.4. Review And Conclusion Of The Request
After reviewing the petitions and annexes regarding the document application, TÜRSAB conducts an audit and evaluation of whether the travel agency has the qualifications specified in Article 17 of the Travel Agencies Regulation and whether the records related to the personnel are kept.
TÜRSAB informs the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the applicant in writing regarding the application result. The reason for the application, which is not deemed appropriate, is stated. The file regarding the application for a operation license, which is deemed appropriate, is sent to the Ministry by TÜRSAB. If the deficiency is found as a result of the examination, evaluation and audit of the address reported if deemed necessary, the completion of the deficiency is notified to TÜRSAB.
If the request is deemed appropriate, The Approval of the Authority is prepared for the issuance of documents. After the Approval of the Authority, the travel agency operating certificate for the request is issued. The organized travel agency operating document is sent to the relevant Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism to be delivered to the applicant and the situation is notified to TÜRSAB.
The document is obtained by the Travel Agency officials from the Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism after submitting the documents that their fees have been deposited in the accounts determined by the Ministry.
Travel Agency activities in Turkey are regulated by the law no. 1618 and it is obligatory to obtain a operation license from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in order to operate the travel agency, and the procedures and principles regarding the applications of those who want to obtain a business certificate are determined by the regulation of the Travel Agency. In order for all applications to produce positive results in a short time, transactions must be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the law and regulation.