News: Travel Agency Scams In Jordan Leaves Tourists Stranded Abroad As Tourism Ministry Receive 234 Complaints Against Unlicensed Agencies

Jordanians

Many Jordanians are facing travel agency scams, which have left them stranded in airports without tickets or in another country without a hotel booking, according to Tourism Ministry.

According to jordantimes.com, the ministry has received 234 complaints against unlicensed travel agencies since the beginning of the year, which has led to the closure of 20 of these travel agencies and the compensation to the scammed citizens, according a post on the ministry’s Facebook page.

The ministry also confirmed that they have followed up on all complaints, whether they originated from unlicensed agencies or trips promoted on social media, and have taken all the required legal action against violators.

The ministry stressed its permanent coordination with the Jordan Society of Tourism and Travel Agents (JSTA), indicating that the association has a representative from the complaints committee, which was formed to consider decisions and verify the validity of complaints, as well as follow up on violators.

READ: Africa: Taleb Rifai Opens The Global Tourism Resilience &Crisis Management Center in Jordan to assist Destinations Managers

Additionally, there is a committee that is responsible for conducting inspection tours to detect unlicensed offices, with the participation of a representative from the JSTA and the concerned authorities, according to the ministry.

“It is shocking and unfortunate that people are this unaware of what is real or fake,” Samir Khawaldeh, a local travel agency sales director, told The Jordan Times.

Khawaldeh said that unlicensed individuals and travel agencies also “steal” the work, customers and chances of good business for licensed agencies.

He encouraged the ministry to issue an updated list of all licensed travel agencies every month so people can know where to book their trips.

Fadia Musallam, a Jordanian, was scammed by an unlicensed travel agency.

“My husband booked a trip for us to travel and we paid a large sum of money for the whole family for flight tickets and hotel stay as well, only to find out that there is no actual booking and the tickets were fake,” Musallam told The Jordan Times.
Musallam added that they kept calling and going to the agency without getting any response.

“They kept denying that the tickets were fake after we went to the airport and we could not board the plane,” she said.
Musallam noted that they filed a complaint to the ministry about the agency and they are waiting for compensation.

“I believe the ministry has shut down the agency, as far as I know, and I hope we get compensated for the money we paid soon,” she said.

Nizar Tannous, another Jordanian citizen, said that he stopped dealing with travel agencies because of scams.

“I resorted to booking everything by myself online, which takes a long time and effort and you have to know your way around to not get scammed online as well,” Tannous told The Jordan Times, adding that “it is still better than getting scammed for thousands of dinars”.

He also praised the ministry’s efforts to deal with unlicensed individuals and agencies.

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