The Syndicate of Car Rental Agencies in Lebanon announced that 50 car rental companies have shut down since 2011, according to Lebanon This Week’s report for Jan. 21-26 from the Byblos Bank Group.
The decline of tourism activity in the country due to the negative political and security conditions has adversely affected the car rental sector. Compared to a normal year of tourism, the overall car rental business has regressed by 70%, the report said. More companies are expected to shut down, as Arab Gulf countries maintain travel warnings to Lebanon.
In addition to major religious holidays and the ski season, the busy season for car rentals before 2011 ran from the start of July to mid-September and from Dec. 15 to Jan. 5. Now, it only lasts 45 days from mid-July until the end of August, according to the report.
Many companies kept their operating licenses, but sold their entire fleet of cars to limit their losses.
The Syndicate of Car Rental Agencies in Lebanon asked the government to exempt car rental companies from registration fees, annual mechanic fees and the annual license fee. It also wants the government to crack down on illegal rental companies operating in Lebanon.