Tour Guide ID Card

ETOA Tour Guide ID Card

ETOA’s Tour Guide ID Card is a photo-ID card available to professionals contracted by ETOA members. In 2019 we issued over 2,500 cards.  

Practical information and application form




If you urgently need a card, please contact us.

Card validity runs until 31st March of the year following successful application. 2020 cards will be valid until 31 March 2021. 

By arrangement, ETOA member companies may make bulk applications for their contracted tour guides directly (min. 10 cards per order). If you are an ETOA member interested in the ID cards but currently not registered in the system, please contact  

Charges, Refund and Cancellation Policy 2020
Charges for Tour Guide ID Cards are non-refundable; the cards are non-transferable.
The price of the card is €25.00 + VAT
The fee for re-issuing a lost card is €15.00 + VAT.

Status and benefits of the ETOA Tour Guide ID card 

Recognition of the card in destination is growing. The main benefit is Proof of Status. An individual may carry a card if an operator has contracted them, or they offer their services via an intermediary such as a guiding agency, walking tour company, online platform or DMO. The card helps to distinguish the holder from individuals who offer services directly to clients in destination. Such informal street commerce is subject to increased scrutiny and enforcement.  

Recognition as a travel professional has practical benefits too. ETOA’s members focus largely on cultural tourism: various museums and attractions are pleased to offer a tour guide free entrance, and the card helps to identify them. Guides influence visitors, making free-time recommendations and advising about appropriate conduct. They are a vital element in destination management as well as the smooth running of a successful tour.  

A benefit for tour guides established outside the EU, holding the ID card confirms that the bearer is working as a professional tour guide conducting a closed-circuit tour. It serves as evidence that when accompanying a group, the tour guide is performing this activity as a business visitor, being contracted for a limited period to travel within the EU in order to perform this task. 

What you need to know

  • The ETOA ID card is neither a licence nor proof of qualification 
  • It is proof of status and provides valuable identification for travel professionals 
  • Some countries regulate guiding, and this has an impact on both operators and professionals. See Guiding Regulations. 

The Tour Guide ID Card scheme is administered on behalf of the European Tourism Association AISBL (ETOA’s Brussels entity), therefore unaffected by Brexit. 

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and has entered a transition period currently scheduled to end 31 December 2020. Freedom of movement still applies during the transition period and the rights of guides established in the UK to work in the EU, subject to requirements of host countries’ regulation of professional services, remain unchanged.

Unless agreed otherwise, post transition from 1 January 2021:

  • The principle of mutual recognition between EU member states and UK of professionals seeking to provide services in either EU or UK on a temporary and occasional basis will end after the transition period. Such activity would then be subject to bilateral agreements between the UK and individual EU states since EU states, not the EU itself, have competence in professional regulation. The EU manages the framework that promotes mutual recognition and cross border services within the EU.
  • UK nationals will be subject to the general limit on duration of a visa-free stay within the Schengen area applicable to 3rd country nationals: 90 days in a 180 day rolling period. This will include non-Schengen EU countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania) as the same rules are applied at their external borders.
  • Time in a non-Schengen country does not count towards the 90 day limit in Schengen. Resident permits, a long-stay or work visa do not count towards the 90 day limit as these are subject to different rules. Further information here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Guiding regulations

You can only apply for our Tour Guide ID card if the company you work for is an ETOA member. You can check if the company is a member here. If the company you work for is an ETOA member but does not appear on the list in the application form, please contact

You can apply if you provide your services for a company who is a member of ETOA. Remember, the card will be sent directly to their office (the address the card will be sent to appears in the field below the Tour Operator name in the application form when the Tour Operator is chosen).

Yes, you can apply if you are providing services for an ETOA member. ETOA’s definition of a Tour Guide is that they may work with the same group over a period of days on a closed-circuit tour or/and on a specialist walking tour. Note that the ETOA Tour Guide ID card is NOT evidence of a qualification, thus it is neither a licence nor a certificate. It does not affect the holder’s rights to provide services. If you are providing services in countries where guiding is regulated, you will need to comply with the local regulation.

We aim to post the card via Royal Mail within 21 days from order date. Depending on the delivery country, the card may be held up in customs or delayed due to local service, which is out of our control. Cards sent to addresses outside the United Kingdom will be sent tracked and signed. Cards are sent directly to the company address. Please contact if you need the tracking number.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to send Tour Guide ID cards to your personal address. The address the card will be sent to appears in the field below the Tour Operator name in the application form when the Tour Operator is chosen. If you believe this address is incorrect, please contact before you apply for the card.

The Tour Guide ID cards are charged in EURO currency. Unfortunately, the invoice cannot be changed to other currencies.

If you have received the card and the information provided in the application form was incorrect, ETOA serves the right to charge an additional €15 +VAT fee for a reprint to cover the administration cost. If the error was made by ETOA, we apologise and will fast-track a new print and send the card with updated information free of charge.
While we do our best to double check all cards before printing, we may not spot errors in the application form. During our busiest period, we print 50-100 cards daily.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all information provided in the application form is correct. If you think you may have made a mistake on the form, please contact / +44 (0) 20 33255037 as soon as possible to check if the card has been printed yet and if the information provided is correct.

If you have lost your Tour Guide ID card valid for the current season, please contact You will need to provide your full name and date of birth and we will reprint the card for a fee of €15+VAT. Please note that we are only able to process the reprint when the invoice has been paid in full.

Yes, it is. If you work for an ETOA member and would like to apply for more than 10 cards, please contact

For ETOA members only: Further information about guiding regulations in Europe.

Learn more