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Tourism License Requirements in Kenya

by Victor Matara

These are the requirements one must meet in Kenya in order to be issued with a tourism license in Kenya. This license is issued by the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) to ensure that necessary regulations, standards and guidelines are followed in the tourism sector. Below are different classes of services that require a tourism license in Kenya.

  •  Accommodation facilities
  • Restaurants
  • Food and Beverage service providers
  • Tour operators
  • Travel agencies
  • Balloon operators
  • Local Air Charters
  • Tourist Service Vehicle HirE
  • Water Sports and Boat Excursions providers
  • Game fishing outfitters
  • Enterprises offering camps and camping equipment for hire
  • Nature parks
  • Nature reserves
  • Nature trails
  • Game ranches
  • Amusement parks
  • Non-citizen tour leaders/guides
  • General vendors and beach operators
  • Entertainment facilities
  • Conference and events services)
  • Tourism and hospitality training institutions

The above services are divided into various classes which we have highlighted below. You must meet the requirements below before making an application for a Tourism License.

Class A Requirements i.e Enterprises (Accommodation Facilities)

1.Certificate of registration / Incorporation of company

2.Memorandum and Articles of Association of company

3.Copy of menu and tariff where applicable

4.Copy of the current health clearance certificate ( less than three months old)

5.Medical Certificate of food handlers

6.CV and professional certificates of  the Manager

7.Manager’s letter of appointment

8.Entry permit for all non- Kenyans working in the facility and affidavit for non-resident director(s)

9.Lease agreement/ copy of title deed of premises occupied by the hotel

10.Letter of ‘no objection’ from NEMA

11.EIA for new facilities / environmental audit for existing facilities

12.Compliance to tourism or area development plans

13. Evidence of insurance cover for the premises

14.Duly filled in application Form ;  Download it here

15. Filled in application forms HR1 and HR2 ; Download here 

License Fees 

License fee depends on the class of the hotel i.e

Application fees : Ksh 1000

1. Ksh 6,000 Licence fees for hotel with bed capacity of one to ten beds and /or minimum total charge for accommodation per night is below Kshs. I,500.
2.Ksh 8,500 Licence fees for hotel with bed capacity of one to ten beds and /or minimum total charge for accommodation per night is over Kshs. I,500.

3. Ksh 16,000 Licence fees for hotel with or without at least one restaurant and/or bed capacity of between I I to 40 beds and minimum total charge for accommodation per night is over Kshs. 1.500.

4. Ksh 21,000 Licence fees for a hotel with more than one restaurant and bar outlets and/or bed capacity of between 41 to 80 beds in addition to function room facility.

Villa License Fee  : Ksh 27,000

The fees are payable to KCB bank; University Way branch, Account name; Tourism Regulatory Authority, account number; 1178921034.

Class ‘B’ Enterprises ( Restaurants and other food and beverage services)

1.Certificate of registration / Incorporation of company

2.Memorandum and Articles of Association of company

3.Copy of menu

4.Copy of the current health clearance certificate ( less than three months old)

5.Medical Certificate of food handlers

6.CV and professional certificates of  the Manager

7.Manager’s letter of appointment

8.Entry permit for all non- Kenyan employees and affidavit for non-resident director(s)

9.Lease agreement/ copy of title deed of premises occupied by the hotel

10.Letter of ‘no objection’ from NEMA

11.EIA for new facilities / environmental audit for existing facilities

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12.Compliance to tourism or area development plans

13.Evidence of insurance cover for the premises

14. Duly filled in application Form ;  Download it here

15. Filled in application forms HR1 and HR2 ; Download here 

License Fees : Ksh 1,000

Class ‘C’ Enterprises(Tour Operators, Travel Agencies,Balloon Operators, Local Air Charters, Tourist Service Vehicle Hire, Water Sports and Boat Excursions)

1.Copy of lease agreement/ title deed of premises

2.Certificate of registration of company (new applicants)

3.Memorandum and articles of Association (new applicants)

4.Work/ entry permit for non- Kenyans involved in the business and copies of affidavit for non- resident director(s)

5.Copy of insurance cover where applicable

6.Proof of ownership of vehicle or letter of contract of hire and vehicle inspection report in the case of tour operators and tourist service vehicle hire

7.CV, professional certificates in ticketing and proficiency in airline reservation systems in case of travel agencies

8.Certificates of airworthiness and seaworthiness where applicable

9.Copy of itinerary in case of tour operators

10.Professional certificates

11.Copy of pilot licenses indicating their flying hours and air charter license from Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) in the case of air charter operators

12. Duly filled in application Form ;  Download it here

License Fees 

The license fee for this class is Ksh 9,000. 

Class ‘D’ Enterprises

(Game fishing outfitters, enterprises offering camps and camping equipment for hire, nature parks, nature reserves, nature trails, game ranches, amusement parks, non-citizen tour leaders/guides)

1.Copy of lease agreement/ title deed of premises

2.Certificate of registration of company (new applicants)

3.Memorandum and articles of Association (new applicants)

4.Work/ entry permit for non- Kenyans involved in the business and copies of affidavit for non- resident director(s)

5.Letter of ‘no objection’ from NEMA

6.EIA for new facilities / environmental audit for existing facilities

7.Compliance to tourism or area development plans

8.Evidence of insurance cover for the premises

9.Current certificate of good conduct, letter of reference, professional certificates and copy of current entry permit and  passport in case of non-citizen tour leaders/guides

10. Duly filled in application Form ;  Download it here

License Fees

The license fee for this class is Ksh 6,000.

Class ‘E’ Enterprises

(Local traditional boat operators, professional safari photographers, curio vendors, private zoos, citizen tour leaders/guides, general vendors and beach operators)

1.Current certificate of good conduct, letter of reference, professional certificates and copy of ID in case of citizen tour leaders/guides

2.Clearance certificate from Kenya Maritime Authority in the case of local traditional boat operators

3.Copy of permit / license from the film department, entry permit/ID card/ in case of professional safari photographers

4.Copy of ID and current certificate of good conduct in the case of curio vendors and beach operators

5. EIA/ environmental audit, approval by NEMA and clearance from the KWS in the case of private zoos

6. Duly filled in application Form ;  Download it here

License Fees 

Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) Contacts 

Tourism Regulatory Authority,
Utalii House,5th Floor,
Utalii Lane, off Uhuru Highway.
P.O. Box 30027, Nairobi, KENYA
Telephone:+254 0701-444777
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.tourismauthority.go.ke

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