In 2016, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) officially introduced the tourism operating license to support the regulation of tourism entities.

The law regulating the tourism industry in Rwanda officially came into force on 28 July 2014, while ministerial orders regulating tourism business operating licenses and the grading of tourism entities came into effect on 3 October 2016. Both the law and ministerial orders were developed in accordance with East African Community (EAC) standards.

This industry regulation is aimed at improving quality of service, build the capacity of the private sector, and improve the marketing of Rwanda as a tourism destination.

Who can apply for a tourism operating license?

Owners or operators of the entities in the below categories can apply for a tourism operating license:

    • A: Accommodation establishments (town hotels, vacation hotels, motels, lodges, tented camps, serviced apartments, cottages and villas)
    • B: Restaurants, bars and nightclubs
    • C: Tour operators, tour guides and travel agents
    • D: Tourism information centers
    • E: Museums and cultural tourism

NOTE: It is a requirement to hold a valid membership certificate of RHA to apply for your operating license.

Click on below links to access the full checklist of the required documents to apply for your operating license.

The operating license is applied via The website serves as a portal for tourism entities to access tourism regulation information and services. In addition, it gives the operators access to more information regarding the regulation.

RHA team remains at your disposal to offer any necessary assistance in order to comply with the regulation.