Guiding tours in Hong Kong
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, 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 licence to offer a guided tour?
There are two relevant licences to consider before offering an Experience in Hong Kong: (1) Tourist Guide Pass; and (2) Travel Agents Licence. If your Experience only involves guests who are Hong Kong residents, you will not require a Travel Agents Licence or Tourist Guide Pass.
Tourist Guide Pass
You will be required to obtain a Tourist Guide Pass from the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (“TIC”) if you are appointed by a licensed travel agent to receive and take care of travellers visiting Hong Kong, such as conducting guided tours for visitors to Hong Kong. If you require a Tourist Guide Pass, please refer to the TIC’s website for more information.
Travel Agents Licence
You will require a Travel Agents Licence if you are considered to be carrying on a business of obtaining certain services for visitors to Hong Kong, such as sightseeing or visits to local places of interest, restaurant or catered meals, shopping trips or local transport in connection with these activities. However, you will not be required to obtain a Travel Agents Licence if you are the owner or operator of the services being provided to the guest. Further details can be found on the Travel Agents Registry’s website.
Please note, TIC membership is a prerequisite to obtaining a Travel Agents Licence. To be eligible for ordinary membership with the TIC, applicants must meet specified criteria, including (i) being a limited company incorporated or registered in Hong Kong; (ii) having a minimum paid-up capital of HKD 500,000; (iii) conducting travel-related and tourism business only within separate and independent commercial premises and/or buildings; and (iv) employing a manager who has a minimum of two consecutive years' relevant practical experience within the recent five years and another full-time staff member. In addition, in order to obtain a Tourist Guide Pass, you will need to pass the relevant examinations and obtain the required certificate(s). Further details can be found on the TIC’s website.
As it is a criminal offence to carry on business as a travel agent without a licence, we encourage you to speak to your lawyer to make sure you are following the laws.
Is there anything else I should consider?
Group visits to most major museums, parks and nature reserves in Hong Kong generally do not require anything other than payment of admission fees (if any). However, you are encouraged to confirm this with the relevant museum, park and/or nature reserve prior to arranging your Experience.
Please note that entry into the Mai Po Nature Reserve requires a Mai Po Marshes Entry Permit, under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap 170), which is only issued to individual members of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society. If you wish to arrange a visit to the Mai Po Nature Reserve, one option is to join a tour organized by WWF-Hong Kong.
We encourage you to also refer to our Business Registration page for information as to whether you will need to register a business.
*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).