A shortage of tourist transportation vehicles during Eid Al Adha vacation is affecting inbound and domestic tourism, a representative of the sector said on Sunday.
Amjad Maslmani, deputy director of the Jordan Society of Tourism and Travel Agents, said this shortage occurs annually as the majority of these vehicles are used to transport Hajj pilgrims to and from Saudi Arabia and consequently are not available during Eid.
Despite the recent drop in the number of visitors due to the regional unrest, "we still have tourists coming during the Eid vacation and we cannot find buses to transport them", he told The Jordan Times yesterday, adding that this perennial problem needs to be conclusively solved.
Tomorrow, Maslmani said, the society will present the Ministry of Tourism with the number of vehicles needed during the Eid vacation and seek their help in providing buses other than those owned by tourism transport companies. Restating a longstanding demand of the Kingdom's travel agents, he said the tourism transport bylaw should be amended to allow travel agents to own vehicles rather than having to rely on tourism transport companies, in order to avoid this problem in the future.
According to the bylaw, licences to operate tourism transport vehicles are only granted to companies that own a minimum of 50 vehicles with a registered capital of no less than JD5 million. However, Shafiq Hayek, general manager of one of the tourism transport companies, told The Jordan Times that travel agents sometimes order buses on the same day the tourist groups are scheduled to arrive. "They should inform us before so that we can provide them with buses if they are available," he said.