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Open a Travel Agency in Spain

Open a Travel Agency in Spain

Spain is one of the most visited countries in Europe and investors who open a travel agency in Spain use the country’s cultural charm to attract tourists and promote their business. Tourism is an important contributor to the country’s economy and Spain has always been a preferred destination for those looking for summer resorts and beaches.

Many foreign investors who are interested in starting a business in Spain will choose the tourism sector because of its popularity and the many niches they can exploit in this business sector. Our lawyers in Spain can help you know everything about the laws for foreign investments, if you want to open a travel agency in Spain

What are the basic steps in opening a travel agency in Spain? 

In order to open a company in Spain that operates as a travel agency, investors have to be aware of the regulations of the European Package Directive, which is also applicable in this country, considering that Spain is a member state of the European Union (EU); in this sense, our team of Spanish lawyers can help investors with more details.

Besides the formalities for opening a company in Spain (selecting a suitable trading name, register the company with the local authorities, opening a corporate bank account), the company’s representatives have to complete additional steps, which are compulsory for this type of business. 

For example, it is necessary to verify which type of business license is necessary for the specific business activities that will be carried out by the Spanish travel agency; in the case in which the company will provide guided tours in various Spanish travelling destinations, the company has to be registered as a travel guide, which requires additional licensing requirements. It is also important to have a liability insurance. 

Tourism in Spain

Spain is well known for its vibrant cities like Barcelona and Madrid, the cultural blend and landscape variety. The country is proud to exhibit its historic influences and heritage and it welcomes tourists to its famous beaches and coasts on the Mediterranean Sea. 

Beach resorts are the most popular tourist attractions in Spain and this type of tourism is the most developed in the country. However, cultural and business tourism are also becoming more popular in Spain. The country’s most popular cities are also important commercial and business centers and a destination for fashion, science, sports and arts enthusiasts. Spain has thirteen cities on the UNESCO World Heritage Cities list and a total of 44 sites as determined by the organization.

Is there a consumer protection law in Spain? 

Yes, in connection with the services offered by a travel agency in Spain, consumers and the companies providing tourism services benefit from a set of rights deriving from the consumer legislation available here. The legislation, the Law on Consumer Protection, is designed to take into consideration new means for acquiring traveling packages (through internet services, for example). The latest version of the law is given by the Legislative Decree 1/2007, which can be presented at length by our team of lawyers in Spain

Specific rules of law, which stipulate the manner in which a travel package should be created, the rights that the consumers are entitled to and the obligations of the travel agencies providing traveling services are given by the Law 21/1995 and the Law 39/2002our Spanish law firm can offer more information on the obligations available for travel agencies in Spain deriving from these rules of law.  

Thus, businessmen who want to set up a travel agency in this country must know that the concept of a “travel package” must contain specific provisions. For example, it is necessary to contain at least two of the following services: accommodationtravel and another type of travel service. An important requirement is to create a travel package that is sold at a price which takes into consideration all the services provided. Thus, the buyers of traveling packages should not pay separately for various travel services

The legislation regulating the relation between the tourists purchasing travel packages and the travel agencies selling such products regulate a wide range of activities that are generally provided in this case. Thus, the travelers have to be informed on the means of transportation and on the rights they have if their luggage is lost, but they must also know the complete itinerary and each type of transportation used throughout their entire journey

In this sense, the provisions of the European Directive 90/314/EEC will apply, which states that the travel agency in Spain must inform the tourists, under the travel contract they will sign, on matters such as: the program to be followed, destinations, types of transportation, the dates in which each trip will take place, the places where their accommodation is booked, the number of meals provided by the accommodation unit, the overall price, the percentage to be paid once the travel package is bought or the provisions related to unexpected matters, such as the cancellation of the trip due to various reasons. 

How many travel related businesses operate in Spain? 

Spain is one of the leading touristic destinations not only at a European level, but also at a global level. In the last years, the tourism in Spain expanded at a very rapid pace, this sector being in constant development. Due to this, the number of traveling related businesses is also rising. Below, we present the main data related to the Spanish businesses that provide tourism services (travel agenciestour operators and other travel related reservation companies): 

  • • in 2008, the Spanish traveling market was represented by 10,970 companies;
  • • by 2012, there were 11,184 companies operating as travel agencies, tour operators, etc.,
  • • in 2015, the number of businesses offering traveling services grew at 11,990;
  • • in 2016, there were more than 12,000 traveling related companies (more exactly, 12,416);
  • • in 2017, Spain had a total of 12,983 tour operators and travel agencies

How to open a travel agency in Spain

Travel agencies in Spain can provide various services for their clients, from complete holiday packages to those that contain only reservations for airline tickets and accommodation. Depending on the season and targeted customers, travel agencies can also provide leisure cruises on the Mediterranean Sea or entertainment and event tickets as well as car rental reservations; depending on this, the company will need to obtain specific business licenses, and our team of lawyers in Spain can provide advice on the documents that have to be submitted. 

In order to open a travel company in Spain, the investor will have to choose the right type of company and open a bank account to deposit the minimum share capital, as required by law. The company registration procedure in Spain is simple and our experts can help you fulfill all of the requirements. Alternatively, foreign companies can open a branch or a subsidiary in Spain. For more information about the business start-up costs or other investment opportunities, you can contact our law firm in Spain.