ILLEGAL vehicle rental businesses are tarnishing the image of the country's booming tourism industry.
This is the view of the Fiji Rental Car Association (FRCA) in response to articles featured in this newspaper about the clampdown by the LTA on private cars being passed off as legitimate rental vehicles.
FRCA president Bob Niranjan called on the authorities to advise international visitors about the unique number plates used by legitimate rental vehicles in Fiji.
The LTA impounded several private vehicles over the past week for operating as bogus rental cars and as many as six businesses have come under the spotlight in Nadi and Lautoka as a result of the clampdown.
"FRCA members have invested more than $25million in this industry and have no protection from these unscrupulous operators.
"Rental cars have yellow number plates and are easy to identify, and the authorities should educate tourists and organisations not to rent any vehicle without a yellow plate. This will also ensure LTA and government receive their rightful revenue from VAT and taxes by ensuring operators comply."
Mr Niranjan urged the authorities to step in and protect the legitimate rental car industry and vulnerable visitors from these illegal operators.
"They are damaging Fiji's tourism reputation as well as the rental car industry's image, at a time when Fiji is attracting more tourists to our shores," he said.