Guiding tours in Lisbon
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.*
Who is a tour guide?
In Portugal, a tour guide can be anyone providing touristic activities broadly defined as recreational, sporting, or cultural activities constituting outdoor tourism or cultural tourism. Tour guiding is considered a regulated profession by Turismo de Portugal. Information on whether your activity can be considered as tour guiding, and guidelines about touristic activities generally, is found on their official website.
What kind of tour guiding licenses can I get, and how do I get them?
Tour guiding may be part of two different legal categories - the Touristic Animation Agent and the Travel Agent. While a general description follows as below, more information on official registration, regulations, and requirements on how to obtain licenses can be found here.
Touristic Animation Agent
If your Experience includes activities of cultural, recreational, or sporting touristic nature (such as graffiti art walking tours, public monument tours, or visits to gardens) you can register as a touristic animation agent. Information and applications for this registry can be found on the Turismo de Portugal’s website in the section about National Registry of Touristic Animation Agents (RNAAT).
To register as a touristic animation agent, you need to pay a registration fee and meet certain basic requirements such as business licensing, record keeping, insurance, and additional registration for special activities (see below section). This is not an exhaustive list of requirements, those interested should seek more information from the Turismo de Portugal’s website directly, and can also look at the information provided by APECATE - the association of touristic animation agents in the touristic sector.
If you want to provide touristic experiences in combination with accommodation or transportation you can apply with Turismo de Portugal for a travel agent license. Information and applications for this license can be found on the Turismo de Portugal’s website, in the section about National Register of Tourism and Travel Agents (or RNAVT). Only those properly registered and following the rules of Turismo de Portugal can offer these travel agency services. Generally, whenever transportation, accommodation, and/or touristic service are packaged together, the travel agency registration and license can be required.
The government of Portugal has rules and regulations for travel agents regarding insurance coverage and policies, legal procedures regarding complaints, consumer protection, and transparency practices. These rules and regulations can be complex and detailed. Further information can be found on the Turismo de Portugal website, by calling the Turismo de Portugal business hotline, or by consulting with the Portuguese Travel Agents Association (APAVT). If you find you still need more information, you should check with a local legal professional.
Are there any additional special licenses I need?
It depends on the type of activities you provide. Turismo de Portugal has detailed regulations that require registration, licenses, and special assessments and surcharges for certain activities that may be specially regulated.
Special licenses and permissions are required when the touristic activity involves the following:
- Maritime tourist activities,
- Tours of public areas and monuments, cultural tours, tours of theme parks or tours of nature parks,
- Tours and camping, or
- Certain health and wellness activities.
This is not a comprehensive list, and you should always check your specific activity with the Turismo de Portugal website or tourism support hotline, or the local municipality where your activity will take place.
Lastly, touristic animation agents and travel agents are required to register for a business license with the commercial register. More information can be found on our information page on Business Licensing in Lisbon.
Is there anything else I should think about?
Yes. You should make sure you have the right insurance coverage for all the activities you will be providing as part of your Trips and Experiences. The Turismo de Portugal website provides information on the required types of insurances for travel agents and touristic animation agents. There are general insurance requirements for the business, and additional personal injury and liability insurance based on the specific activity. Touristic services are legislated by activity, so insurance coverage requirements may vary.
Touristic service providers can consult with the Turismo de Portugal website, APECATE (Portuguese Touristic Animation Agents Association) and/or the Portuguese Travel Agents Association (APAVT) to see what insurance requirements apply.
You should be aware of potential criminal offences for failure to register as a Touristic Animation Agent and to comply with the requirements of the Tourism Act, which may include financial penalties and the possibility of a custodial sentence. Again, Turismo de Portugal can guide you where you need more information.
*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).