Dear Members,

In the Frame of the Travel & Tourism group, we would like to discuss/debate the “Insurance, responsibility, liability” matter for TOUR OPERATORS.

Why this topic?

In South Africa, no qualifications, no licence, no rules or specific regulations exist or are required when launching a Tour Operator or in general term a business in the tourism industry.

The Private and Public Liability is the responsibility of each of us, leaving some operators or suppliers functioning with poor cover leading to illegal competition in a few cases,  fraud, breaches of contracts, bankruptcy…

We also saw that Insurance are not covering the legal cost of experts or advisors which in most cases are absolutely fundamental.   

These lack of rules and regulations can be a threat to our own business.  It also can become an asset.  By understanding the exact risk, responsibility, compensation, for the operation of our companies, we will make sure that the risks are limited at the lowest, for our clients, our companies and ultimately for ourselves.

The compensation fund, the liability issues and other issues that could affect us should be clearly debated, explained and understood.

The subject is vast, but deserves all our attention.

We would like thus, to organise, in the second part of February 2013 a Forum, were your questions will be raised to a panel of specialists, that could assist us to clear-up our interrogations.

Please share your interrogations and your topics here. I will outsource and liaise with the relevant experts in the industry in order for this Forum to be the most productive for all of us.

Kind Regards,


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Replies to This Discussion

Great initiative! I would also suggest we hold a group meeting for Tourism in the next couple of weeks to discuss the group organisation.

Hello Sebastien,

In reading your post I got to wonder what I might be missing here, because my understanding of the regulatory environment appears to differ from yours, which makes me question some of the underlying premises of your discussion.

I invite you to examine the following references:

As stated in those web-sites, one of which is the official site of the Western Province Government, 'all tourist guides need to be registered . . .' in order to practice legally and '. . are required to act professionally in their clients' lawful best interest.'

It might be argued that this applies to individuals only and not to starting a business. However, the metaphor which I would like to use is that of starting a pharmacy.

While it would be perfectly feasible for a general businessman to open a pharmacy, there would have to be at least one qualified and licensed pharmacist functioning as the responsible party in that establishment. I believe that is how store chains such as Clicks, for example, can offer pharmaceutics to their clients.

I would expect that a similar consideration applies to businesses which as tour operators have staff who act as guides on their behalf.

In summary, it seems to me that your view of the present circumstances may be less than accurate in one regard at least, namely regarding the 'lack of rules and regulations' . This may narrow the scope of the debate you propose?

Cordially yours,


C'est un sujet intéressant et j'espère être disponible quand vous organiserez ce forum. Bien cordialement


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