Export Impact For Good

Countries / Territories


          European Communities-Cariforum Economic Partnership Agreement   


    Tourism and travel related services


      A Caribbean business can invest in establishing the following in any EC country: 


    Hotel, Restaurant, Catering and Beverage services


    Travel / Tour Operator Agency 


    Tourist Guide Agency 


    Spa Services* 


    *Includes non-therapeutic massages, to the extent that they are provided as relaxation physical well-being services and not for medical or rehabilitation purposes (included within Business-Professional-Medical Services).

    These opportunities are subject to:

    • General reservations1

    • Country specific reservation


    Hotel, restaurant, catering and beverage services:

    • Italy: Economic needs test2 applies.

    • Bulgaria: Business must be incorporated under Bulgarian law.


    Travel agency and tour operator services: 


      Bulgaria, Portugal: The business must be incorporated under national laws.

      A Caribbean business can obtain visas for staff from the Caribbean to work in the company hotel, restaurant, agency or spa (their commercial presence) in Europe:


    Key personnel (e.g. managers and specialists) and graduate trainees on intra-corporate transfers for a period of up to 3 years.


    Senior staff responsible for establishing a commercial presence for 90 days in any 12-month period.


    New graduate trainees for one year. Spa Services*

    These opportunities are subject to:

    • Nationality condition: may be applied for tourist guide services in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, and Slovak Republic. Nationality condition also applies for specialists and graduate trainees providing spa services in all EC countries.

    • Bulgaria: Applies economic needs test for graduate trainees. The number of transferred staff is not to exceed 10% of the average annual number of the EC citizens employed. If the company has less than 100 employees, the number of transferred staff may exceed 10% with authorisation. In companies where the public share in equity capital exceeds 50%, the number of foreign managers is not to exceed the number of Bulgarian managers

    • General reservations3

    • Country specific reservation


      Contractual service suppliers4 can travel to Europe to provide:

      a) Travel Agency and Tour Operator services in all EC countries (except Ireland).
      b) Tourist Guide services in all EC countries (except France, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal or Spain).
      c) Chef de Cuisine services in all EC countries. 

    Travel Agency and Tour Operator services: 


      Economic needs test applies in:

      - Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Romania and Slovak Republic.
      - Belgium, except when contractual service suppliers annual wage is above the amount defined by relevant laws and regulations.
      - Denmark (except when the person is staying less than three months).

    Tourist Guide services: 


      Economic needs test applies in: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, The Netherlands, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.

    Chef de Cuisine: 


      All EC: Advanced technical qualifications5 and at least 6 years of demonstrable work experience at the level of Chef de Cuisine may be required.

      Economic needs test applies in all EC countries.

      A Caribbean business can provide the following tourism services from their home country to consumers in Europe:

      - Hotel, Restaurant and Beverage services in Estonia, Finland, Hungary.
      - Catering services in all EC countries.
      - Travel Agency and Tour Operator services in all EC countries except Bulgaria and Hungary).
      - Tourist Guide services in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. 

      A Caribbean business can provide all tourism services to European consumers while in the Caribbean. 

      Caribbean business may have new opportunities where foreign investment has been liberalised for the tourism and travel related services sector in the following countries:


    Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

      Opportunities for Public-Private Collaboration in Seeking Development Assistance:

    The Agreement provides for development assistance in the following areas: 


      The upgrading of national accounting systems with a view to facilitating the introduction of Tourism Satellite Accounts;

      Capacity building for environmental management in tourism areas;

      The development of internet marketing strategies for SMEs in the tourism sector;

      Mechanisms to ensure the effective participation of CARIFORUM States in international sustainable tourism standard setting bodies, programmes to achieve and ensure equivalency between national, regional and international standards for sustainable tourism; and programmes aimed at increasing the level of compliance with sustainable tourism standards;

      Tourism exchange programs and training, including language training for tourism service providers.


    In addition Governments have a duty to facilitate the transfer of technology on a commercial basis to commercial presences in the CARIFORUM States; and facilitate the participation of SMEs in the tourism sector.



    1General reservations:
    i) Limitations on the acquisition of land and real estate (in Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia).
    ii) Limitations requiring local citizenship or residency of senior management or Board of Directors (in Estonia, Finland, Italy, Romania and Sweden).
    iii) Limitations on the type of business e.g. limited liability company, limited partnership in Poland.
    iv) Limitations on the type of investment e.g. a maximum percentage for foreign shareholding or voting rights (in Bulgaria, France, Finland and Italy).
    v) Registration, licensing and qualification requirements apply in all EC Member States.
    vi) The scope of operations of a representative office may only encompass advertising and promotion of the foreign mother company represented by the office (in Bulgaria, Poland).

    2 An economic needs test is a measure used by regulatory authorities to limit the new entry of service suppliers into a market by taking into account the existing local capacity.

    3 General Reservations:
    i) Austria: managing directors of a company have to be resident in Austria. The person responsible for compliance with the Austrian Trade Act must be resident in Austria.
    ii) Finland: imposes nationality and residency requirements for the managing director of a company.
    iii) France: authorisation for foreign managers takes into consideration the availability of local managers. The managing director needs specific authorisation if not the holder of a residence permit.
    iv) Hungary: applies economic needs test for graduate trainees.
    v) Romania: requires a company's auditors and their deputies to be Romanian.
    vi) Sweden: requires the managing director of a company to reside in Sweden.

    4 Employees of a Caribbean company that does not have a commercial presence in Europe but which does have a contract to supply services in an EC country.

    5 Where the qualification has not been obtained in Europe, the EC country concerned may evaluate whether the Contractual Service Supplier's qualification is equivalent to the qualification required in its territory.