A great way to experience Victoria’s State and National Parks is with a licensed tour operator (LTO). Licensed tour operators are experts in conducting organised, recreational activities and more. If you want to try something new or meet some like-minded people on your next visit to a park, contact a licensed tour operator.
If you are interested in conducting organised tours or recreational activities on Parks Victoria and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) managed land, please read the below information to learn how to register for a licence.
At the direction of the Chief Health Officer, Parks Victoria have a number of restrictions currently in place. Check our COVID-19 update for the latest information, and follow the health advice provided by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Who is required to hold a licence?
A tour operator and activity provider licence is required for any person or business conducting an organised tour or recreational activity, including training, for profit on public land in Victoria.
Parks Victoria issues and administers tour operator licensing on public land in Victoria on behalf of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) including on Victorian state waters and inland waterways.
For more information on tour operators and activity provider licence requirements (including the relevant Policy, Legislation and Fact Sheets,) go to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
Tour operators and activity providers are required to pay fees for:
- Annual Licence Fee
- Visitations (use fees)
The Annual Licence fee applies to all licence applications received within each financial year (pro-rata fees are not available). For a standard licence greater than one year the fee can be invoiced as an upfront fee (for the total amount) or on an annual basis.
The visitations (use fee) is the numbers of persons who participate in tours and activities (per person per day). Regulations prescribe an annual cap on the total visitation (use fees) a tour operator is required to pay. Visitations are invoiced on a quarterly or annual basis.
2020-21 Fee schedule
Annual fee - standard one year licence
Annual fee - standard licence greater than 1 year (per year)
Adult visitation (use fee)
Child visitation (use fee) including student
*multiply this fee by the number of years you wish to apply for.
Further fee structure information is available on the Tour operator fees Fact Sheet.
Parks Victoria has closed the licensing window for 2020/2021 in preparation for the new round of licensing. We anticipate the new licensing window for 2021/2022 will open late May.
In preparation for the new licensing year, if you are a new applicant, please email email@example.com to schedule a 15 minute phone call with a Tourism Partnerships Officer to discuss your application.
Existing operators wanting to submit a tour variation should prepare the required supporting documentation an submit as part of the 2021/2022 licensing year application process.
Anyone planning on conducting organised tours or recreational activity for profit will need to apply for a licence before commencing any commercial activities on public land.
You can apply by undertaking the following steps.
Step 1 - Preparation: undertake detailed planning in relation to the parks you wish to visit and what activities you wish to offer.
Once the plan is finalised, you can undertake the application on ParkConnect. When applying, the more detail you can provide, the faster the application process will be (i.e. provide supporting documentation – maps, brochure).
As part of the application process, you will need to supply a Certificate of Currency for Public Liability Insurance to the value of $20,000,000. Please review this checklist and example of an acceptable Certificate of Currency (public and products liability insurance).
If you are wanting to apply for a 5 or 10-year licence you will need to supply a certificate of tourism accreditation. Further information about applying for a multiple year licence can be found by reading the Longer term licences Fact Sheet.
Before applying please ensure you have prepared the following documentation:
- Certificate of Currency, Public Liability Insurance
- Accreditation certification (if applying for a long term licence)
- Visitations (for existing operators re-licensing)
Step 2 - Registration: New operators will need to register on ParkConnect before they can proceed to the application step. Access the registration sign up page.
Important - If you are a new operator or an existing operator accessing ParkConnect for the first time we strongly recommend that you first review the ParkConnect User Guides for detailed instructions on registering and applying.
Step 3 - Application: you can submit your full application or re-licence online via ParkConnect.
To apply or reapply:
- Sign in to ParkConnect
- click on Tour Operator
- go to My applications/agreements to commence the process.
- New operators will need to create an account prior to submitting an application.
- Existing operators please click on the blue OPP-000##### to commence the re-licence process. Most of the detail will be pre-populated.
Parks Victoria generally takes between 6 and 8 weeks to process an application depending on the complexity of the application.
Note: Parks Victoria is unable to finalise an incomplete application.
- DELWP - Tour Operator policy and legislation
- Transport Safety Victoria
- Ecotourism Australia
- Quality Tourism Sustainable Accreditation (formerly ATAP)
- Victorian Tourism Industry Council
- Outdoors Victoria
- Australian Adventure Activity Standards
Advanced notice and group activity statement
Depending on the type of activity and location, as a condition of licence, you may be required to submit a Group Activity Form prior to undertaking the activity. You can now enter this detail by accessing ParkConnect and going to Tour Operator and the My Excursion.