STA Travel, an Agency Used by Many Exchange Students, Suddenly Wound Up With Lots of Debts


One of the most frustrating things about the Covid-19 pandemic is our inability to travel abroad.

In the past, we could jet off to a foreign land on a whim, but now, the only island we can visit is Sentosa.

But at least we can take comfort in the fact that travel will return once the coronavirus disappears.

Unfortunately, we can’t say the same thing about airlines.

The airline industry is facing a financial crisis and is one of the hardest hit sectors, due to countries all over the world imposing border restrictions.

As a result, travel agencies are struggling to stay afloat too. And if they end up drowning, it’s the customers who will be hung out to dry.

STA Travel, an Agency Used by Many Exchange Students, Suddenly Wound Up With Lots of Debts

STA Travel, an international travel agency used by many university students here, is winding up, according to The Straits Time.

It stopped operating on 9 Sep, after its parent company based in Switzerland filed for insolvency in August.

The travel agency now reportedly owes money to 682 customers listed as creditors, with one sum as high as $84,088.

Image: Tenor

You’re probably thinking that this astronomical figure is owed by an organisation and not a single person, right?

Well, while the travel agency does own money to a host of organisations, including several universities, the CPF board, and the Esplanade, the debt of $84,088 is said to be owed to an individual.

However, whether the creditors are individuals or organisations, it seems unlikely that they will get their money back.

The agency was popular with many university students, especially those on exchange programmes.

In fact, before STA Travel was put into provisional liquidation, it had retail locations in NTU, NUS, and SMU, where students could get the best travel deals.

Now, many of the university students who booked flights with the agency are affected and have no idea how to get reimbursed.

Offices in Other Countries Affected Too

As a result of their financial situation, STA Travel had to place their offices in other countries such as Australia and New Zealand in liquidation too.


According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), STA Travel is just 1 of 22 travel agents which stopped operations between 1 Feb and Monday (28 Sep).

15 of the companies, as you probably guessed, closed due to Covid-19. STA Travel didn’t disclose their reason for winding up.

A spokesman simply said the the directors of the agency in Singapore “had to take the most responsible approach for all stakeholders by placing the company into provisional liquidation given the company’s insolvent financial position”.

Image: Tenor

How Customers Can Get Their Money Back

While all of the agency’s creditors should have been notified by now, those who have not received the notification can contact the provisional liquidators’ office.

To get reimbursed, creditors will need to submit a proof of debt form by Wednesday noon (30 Sep), with supporting documents such as their invoices or payments made to STA Travel.


If you’re a customer who hasn’t gotten a refund and are not covered by travel insurance, you can approach the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) or the Small Claims Tribunal.

Case encourages customers to try and reach a settlement with the agency first, however.

“For cases in which both parties fail to reach an agreement, Case will guide consumers to file for a claim or relief with assessors appointed by the Ministry of Law, as provided for under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act,” they said.

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