Tour guiding and travel-related experiences
This information page can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb.
Please understand that this information page is general, not comprehensive and are not legal advice. These pages are intended to give you an idea of the types of rules that may apply to your experiences and to help you understand some of the things to consider in relation to your experience.
Different countries, states, and cities have different licensing requirements and rules and it is your responsibility as a host to make sure you comply with local laws and regulations. These pages are not intended to be an explanation of the specific rules that apply in your jurisdiction, or your particular situation, nor are these pages a substitute to seeking legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your experiences, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
Do I need a license to act as a tour guide?
Experiences hosts that provide tour-related services may require a license, certification, and/or training. Some jurisdictions may have such requirements pertaining to tour guides for specific types of experiences, or activities in specific locations. We encourage you to contact your local government and/or a lawyer to determine whether or not a specific license or permit might be required for your experience.
Many markets have specific regulations concerning tour guiding which may apply to hosts. While these requirements vary from market to market, they tend to include expansive definitions of what constitutes tour guide activity and mandate licensing, including:
- The restriction of licenses issued to foreigners
- The requirement for a potential guides to take a course or pass a test before applying for a license
- The requirement for additional certification for certain tour guiding activities
It is a good idea for you to contact your local government or a lawyer to determine whether a license is required to engage in tour guide activities and obtain more information about the license requirements and procedure for obtaining a license in your jurisdiction.
Do I need permission to give my guests a tour of specific points of interest?
Even if you do not need to be a licensed or certified tour guide, hosts should generally seek permission to give guided tours of private and public points of interest, government-owned land, or public waters. It is a good idea to check whether the point of interest has a website or office number to learn more about guided visits.
Keep in mind that the underlying activity for your experience may also be regulated.
Do I need a license to transport guests as part of a tour?
Many jurisdictions regulate carrying passengers for hire or offering transportation for the specific purpose of guided sight-seeing tours. Typically, operating watercraft for hire, including power-propelled boats, charter boats, tour or excursion boats, fishing vessels, and white water rafts requires registration and can require the driver to hold a special license. Regulation may be based on passenger capacity or geography. Please consult the Transportation page and contact your local government for more information.
What responsibilities do I have to keep my guests safe during their transportation?
Transporting guests may subject hosts to related safety requirements that are often specific to the type of transportation. While vehicles are usually subject to the general rules of the road, operating watercraft involves additional water-related safety obligations regarding items such as personal flotation and sanitation devices.
If you intend to include tour-related transportation as part of your experience, we encourage you to contact your local government or a lawyer to determine what rules apply to you and confirm your experience complies with transportation and license requirements in your jurisdiction.
Can I lease or rent transportation to my guests instead?
Usually, although many jurisdictions regulate this transaction. It is particularly common to see regulations relating to the leasing or renting of watercraft such as kayaks, paddle boats, canoes, and sailboats.
We also encourage you to consider the safety of your guests; whether they need any special licenses to operate the transportation you will rent to them; and whether there are any other activities in your experience, for example consumption of alcohol, that may be incompatible with leasing or renting means of transportation.
Can I sell tickets as part of my experience?
Probably, as long as you do so in compliance with any ticket resale regulations. Some jurisdictions have enacted laws prohibiting the resale of certain types of tickets at higher prices, while others allow this activity with a license. The tickets themselves may also be non-transferrable. These restrictions may not apply to online sales.
If you plan to re-sell tickets as part of your experience, it is a good idea to confirm this is legally permitted in your jurisdiction, as well as consulting the original purchase terms for the tickets and any vendor or venue rules about their resale.
Do I need to register or have a license to offer travel-related services?
Maybe. Depending on the jurisdiction, experiences hosts may be subject to laws or regulations governing the travel industry, such as regulation of travel-related sales, travel agent registration, or occupational or business licenses and related requirements. Activities that may cause a government to view a host as a travel agent include selling, providing, contracting, or arranging travel services such as travel tickets or packages or making reservations for lodging, entertainment, transportation, tours etc. It is a good idea for you to consider whether your Experience may lead you to be classified as a travel agent by your local government and, if so, what additional responsibilities you may have.
Am I subject to any other laws or regulations if I offer travel-related services?
Maybe. Many jurisdictions around the world impose requirements on sellers of travel-related services, regardless of whether the individual needs to register or obtain a license.
If you are unsure about anything relating to your experience, we encourage you to check with your local tourism authority directly, or speak to a lawyer, to discuss your experience and confirm your experience complies with local laws including safety, tax, and insurance requirements.
* Please note that Airbnb has no control over the conduct of hosts and disclaims all liability. Failure of hosts to satisfy their responsibilities may result in suspension of activity or removal from the Airbnb website.
Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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