Unlocking the Tourism Industry in Serbia

Serbia’s tourism sector, governed by the Law on Tourism, encompasses a diverse range of aspects that guide and regulate tourism-related activities. These aspects include the following:

  1. Tourism Activity Framework

The Law on Tourism in Serbia defines the conditions and procedures for various tourism activities, covering travel organization, travel mediation, tourist agency services, tourist guide and escort services, rent-a-car services, and more. This framework ensures that all facets of tourism are performed in a systematic and regulated manner.

  1. Rights and Obligations

For both tourism service providers and users, this law outlines the rights and obligations that govern their interactions. This includes safeguarding consumer rights, imposing obligations on travel agencies to provide comprehensive information, managing contracts, insurance, guarantees, and more. These provisions are designed to protect and empower both service providers and consumers.

  1. Supervision and Control

To maintain the integrity of the tourism industry, the Law on Tourism establishes a robust system of supervision and control. This entails defining the roles and powers of tourism inspectors, outlining sanctions for violations, and creating a comprehensive framework to ensure compliance with the law.

  1. Development and Promotion

Serbia’s commitment to tourism development and promotion is evident through the law’s provisions. It covers incentives and measures aimed at fostering the growth of the tourism sector. These measures include financing tourism projects, criteria for declaring tourist areas, the national tourist brand, and more, all contributing to the industry’s expansion.

  1. Data Management

The law also addresses data management in tourism activities. This encompasses the registration of guests, electronic payment of residence tax, and the establishment of the central information system in tourism (E-tourist). These elements facilitate efficient data handling within the tourism industry.

Starting a Tourism Agency in Serbia: The Essentials

If you aspire to launch a tourism agency business in Serbia, certain requirements must be met as stipulated by the Law on Tourism12. Here’s a concise breakdown of these prerequisites:

  1. Business Registration and Licensing

First and foremost, you need to register your business entity with the Business Registers Agency. Simultaneously, you must obtain a license for travel organization from the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications. This is the foundation for legally operating a tourism agency in Serbia.

  1. Professional Expertise

Your agency must employ at least one individual who has successfully passed the professional exam for travel organization and possesses a minimum of three years of experience in tourism activities. This ensures that your team has the necessary expertise to offer high-quality services.

  1. Adequate Business Space

To meet the minimum standards for conducting tourism activities, your agency must have suitable business premises. Factors such as size, equipment, and location play a crucial role in determining compliance with these standards.

  1. Financial Assurance

To mitigate risks related to insolvency or bankruptcy, you are required to maintain a deposit in a bank account or hold an insurance policy. The specific amount of the deposit varies depending on the category of the license you are applying for.

  1. Regulatory Compliance

Strict adherence to legal obligations is paramount. This includes providing comprehensive information to consumers, issuing contracts and invoices, and maintaining meticulous records of travel arrangements and services offered. Compliance ensures the ethical and legal operation of your tourism agency.

Embarking on a journey to establish a tourism agency in Serbia requires a deep understanding of the Law on Tourism and its associated requirements. By navigating these legal frameworks and embracing the development incentives outlined in the law, your tourism agency can flourish and contribute to the growth of Serbia’s vibrant tourism sector.

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