STA Travel outlet in Centurion Mall.
  • The popular global travel business STA Travel is bankrupt, and has been forced to close its stores in South Africa.
  • Worried clients are concerned about large refunds still due to them after they were forced to cancel their overseas trips.
  • They have been promised "further communication" in coming days.
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STA Travel, a popular travel business among South Africans, has closed its almost twenty stores in South Africa.

The Swiss-owned business announced at the weekend that it has ceased trading across the world. The BBC reports that the firm's parent company, Diethelm Keller Holding (DKH), said the pandemic had "brought the travel industry to a standstill".

On its South African website, STA Travel said that the local company has ceased trading.

“Please be assured that if you had a previous booking with us, or hold a live booking, you will receive further communication in the coming days. We are sorry for the inconvenience and the limited information available to you at this time.”

On its Facebook page in South Africa, which has more than 1.5 million followers, many clients posted worried messages about refunds still due to them after they had to cancel overseas trips due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many still hold “refund travel vouchers” and were concerned  about whether they will get anything back.

“We paid for a trip to Bali in April 2020. They gave us a R27,000 credit. Now we hear this news. We just want to get a refund,” one client said.

As recently as last week, the company was still advertising trips to Phuket and Bangkok next year.

In Australia, Deloitte was appointed as administrator for STA at the weekend. On Sunday, it was already announced that refunds won’t be offered to customers who cancelled their holidays because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Smart Company Australia reported.

STA Travel – originally an acronym for Student Travel Australia - was founded in 1971 by young Australian entrepreneurs who set it up to provide services for student travellers.

In May Flight Centre, South Africa’s largest travel company announced that it would close 40% of its stores as the coronavirus crisis wreaks havoc on its business.

Flight Centre says it will retain only 60 stores, and will also close its Cruiseabout brand, with its customers and bookings to be transferred to the rest of the business.

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