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The Swiss-owned travel agent, STA Travel, has declared bankruptcy and has been forced to close all its outlets worldwide.

The travel ban enforced by most countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame. Diethelm Keller Holdings, the travel agency’s holding company, told the BBC that the pandemic had "brought the travel industry to a standstill."

South African travellers have been informed of the closure and also assured that more communication will follow. In a statement published on the company's website, an apology was given regarding the inconvenience and the limited information available at this time.

This however, has not brought relief for local customers as they have no idea whether refunds will be given.

The UK outlets were closed on Friday.

According to EWN, should STA Travel SA file for liquidation, consumers will be the last to get a payout says the National Consumer Commission’s director of prosecution, Joseph Selolo.

"They are the very last one because you still have the costs of the sequestration plus amount for the liquidators, statutory obligations, salaries for employees, so ordinary people that paid any travel funds, they rank very low."

Watch Greg McKenzie's video below for more on the sudden closure of STA Travel worldwide.

Image credit: EWN

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