Ralph Wilson, owner of Chalis Car Rental and Tours in Montego Bay, Jamaica, discusses in this web-exclusive Q&A how the company competes for airport rental customers in a climate of high taxes.
Ralph Wilson, owner of Chalis Car Rental & Tour, stands in front with his staff.
What's your fleet size?
Our fleet has now grown to 400 vehicles. We had started with six cars and had doubled our fleet every year with aggressive marketing strategies so we had constant demand for more vehicles.
How many locations do you have and in what types of areas?
We have one location at 10 Federal Ave., Montego Bay opposite the Sangsters International airport.
How did the business start?
We saw that there was an opportunity in the car rental business and with my experience in the minibus business I decided to start Chalis Car Rental and Tours with a small fleet of six cars in 1996.
Photos courtesy of Chalis Car Rental & Tour
What are your primary sources of rental customers?
Our main source of customers is airport customers, which we harness from the Internet. Our customers book over the phone and Internet with our sales team at the airport. We have travel agents that book tours with us and customers that just book over the phone. We are also an affiliate of Economy Rent A Car.
What made you decide to include tour and even hired drivers in your business model?
Jamaica has always been a destination that people all over the world want to see and may not want to drive, so we added a tour which brings in good revenue.
Are you pursuing new sources of business/customers? What are they?
We need more travel agents and websites to work with since we are focused on airport customers. We are also part of the Jamaica Tourist Board.