Requirements for tour operators

Everyone who takes participants out in the field should have sufficient and relevant knowledge, expertise and experience suited to the individual field or trip schedule.

Published 6/20/2019, Updated 11/10/2023

Among other things, this applies to:

  • current laws, rules and regulations for Svalbard.
  • safety, including protection from polar bears, glaciers, landslides and sea ice.
  • first aid.
  • local conditions, including climatic conditions.
  • the natural environment, cultural monuments and responsible travel.
  • other conditions that are considered necessary for the completion of the field or tour schedule.

Expertise, plans for training, equipment/emergency equipment and routines must be described in the notification about the trip schedule. The tour operator must also ensure that anyone who carries out work for which the business is responsible is familiar with and complies with the rules in these regulations and the rules given in or pursuant to the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act on the protection of Svalbard’s flora, fauna, cultural monuments and natural environment in general.


The office of the Governor of Svalbard may require that the trip schedule is changed, or set specific requirements for a trip schedule, including requirements for marketing, the mode of transport and equipment, if this is necessary to ensure that the trip schedule on its own or in addition to another activity:

  • safeguards the safety of the travellers.
  • protects Svalbard’s environment.
  • takes into account the interests of the public and the local culture.
  • complies with laws and regulations.

The office of the Governor of Svalbard may also ban a planned tour operator activity or further completion of an activity if the requirements are not met or other provisions in the “Regulations relating to tourism, field operations and other travel in Svalbard” are not met.


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