ADVENTURE travel tour operator Kumuka Worldwide has ceased trading and is expected to be placed into administration within days.
Kumuka CEO Oz Ozbuluter said tours up to and including this Sunday were funded and would operate, however any trips for after 22 July would not be honoured.
“Passengers travelling after [22 July] will need to contact the Travel Compensation Fund and their agent will need to make alternative travel arrangements,” the company said in a statement.
Australian Travel Compensation Fund (TCF) chief executive Glen Wells said as long as passengers had all their travel documents in order they should loge a claim to the TCF and in most cases the consumers will be protected.
“We don’t know the size of the collapse yet. It’s a huge company,” said Wells.
Passengers who have booked their holiday as a package in the UK with an ABTA or ATOL bonded travel agent or with their credit card should speak directly to their travel agent or credit card company to seek advice regarding compensation.
Travel industry leaders have been left stunned by the news.
Australian Federation of Travel Agents CEO Jayson Westbury was shocked, noting that Kumuka was a “niche wholesaler”.
“It was a bit of a surprise to us because they have been really active and out there and happening,” he said.
Topdeck General Manager, New Zealander Bec Whiffin said it was very “sad” news.
“It is sad to hear that Kumuka have ceased trading after nearly 30 years in the travel industry. Our thoughts go out to the staff and passengers of Kumuka at this time.”
She said that Topdeck Travel will endeavour to help Kumuka passengers who need to make alternative travel arrangements.
“[Stranded] passengers can call Topdeck Travel on 0845 257 5212 for advice on alternative trips for 18-39 year olds in Europe, Egypt, Morocco, the Middle East, North America, Africa, Australia & New Zealand.”
Topdeck Travel is also offering a 10 per cent discount on all Topdeck trips for passengers with a Kumuka booking that will no longer take place. Travellers looking for more information should visit Topdeck’s website at Topdeck.travel/advice