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Car rental agencies report booking decline amid tourism slump

By Maria Weldali - Apr 19,2024 - Last updated at Apr 19,2024

Stakeholders reports a slowdown in the car rental business, attributing it to a nationwide decline in the tourism and hospitality sectors (JT file photo)

AMMAN — Stakeholders have reported a slowdown in the car rental business, attributing it to a nationwide decline in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Mahmoud Taha, an employee at a car rental agency based in Amman, said that bookings have nearly halved at some car rental offices, stressing the market’s critical need for improved management and supervision. Taha also noted that the ongoing regional disturbances have significantly impacted almost all sectors related to tourism.

In an interview with The Jordan Times, Marwan Akuba, Head of the Jordanian Car Rental Association, reported a decrease in the occupancy rate of car rentals following the end of Eid Al Fitr, noting that the current occupancy rates do not exceed 25 per cent, a significant drop from nearly 50 per cent during the Eid period.

Akuba also noted a trend among customers booking smaller, lower-priced vehicles, while demand for larger or luxury vehicles has dwindled. He also pointed out that the majority of cancellations began in October, coinciding with the onset of the war in the besieged strip, adding, "The Israeli war on Gaza led to a decline in demand for car rentals as consumers generally cut back on leisure spending due to the turbulent situation in Gaza."

Akuba highlighted that prices, which start from JD15 depending on the vehicle’s description, are within the normal range, adding that the sector has experienced a prolonged period of reduced business. 

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