Becoming a licensed operator
Permits and licences > Commercial Tour Operators

Becoming a licensed operator

Commercial Tour Operator fees update

In recognition of the severe impacts experienced by tour operators because of COVID-19, the Department for Environment and Water is holding off on the usual licence and visitor use fee increases that occur on 1 April each year.

This year’s fee increases have been deferred to 1 July 2021. This means that if you renew your licence before the end of June you will qualify to pay the 2020 licence fee. Similarly, for tours taken between 1 April and 30 June 2021, the 2020 visitor use fees for park entry and camping will apply.

Note that visitor use fees from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020 and CTO licence fees from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 were waived.

For a complete listing of licence and visitor use fees click here.

To become licensed, operators need to:

  • complete an Application form – using the application form (refer to the information for applicants for assistance)
  • Tour Operators are required to have a trading/credit account with DEW. If you do not have an account, please complete the trading/credit application form and submit it together with your licence application
  • attach copies of public liability insurance (Certificate of Currency) of at least $10 million including evidence of currency
  • supply a copy of the operator's current promotional materials
  • return the documents to DEW Parks Licensing and Events for processing.
  • Provide the relevant tourism accreditation certificate if applying for a 3 or 5 year licence:
    • Eligibility for a three year licence is subject to businesses having current certification under at least one of the following:
      • Australian Tourism Accreditation Program
      • Eco Certification Program - Nature Based
      • Earth Check ECO or Earth Check Evaluate
    • Eligibility for a five year licence is subject to businesses having current certification under at least one of the following:
      • Eco Certification Program - Ecotourism
      • Eco Certification Program - Advanced Ecotourism
      • Earth Check ECO Certified or EarthCheck Certified

Operators based in South Australia must also meet the conditions of the Passenger Transport Act 1994 and be in possession of the following current certificates and be able to produce them for inspection upon demand:

  • Operator Accreditation
  • Certificate of Inspection for each vehicle that will be operating in the protected area
  • Driver Accreditation for each driver who will be operating in the protected area.

If passengers are being picked up in South Australia, South Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport accreditation is required. For information on public transport accreditation, please contact the Department of Infrastructure and Transport on 1300 872 677 (within Australia).

Operators based outside South Australia must meet the conditions of the relevant passenger transport legislation in their state or territory of registered business.


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