STA Travel

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STA Travel Holding Ltd
Industry travel
Founded 1971
Headquarters Zurich, London, Australia
Area served
Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, The United States, Canada, South Africa, Asia, Central Europe, South America
Key people
Products Student and youth travel
CHF 997 million (US$1,126 million) (2011)[3]
CHF 141 million (2011)[3]
Number of employees
approx 2200 (2011)[3]

STA Travel is a collection owned by the Swiss Diethelm Keller Group, with headquarters in Zurich and London.[4] It claims to be the world's largest travel company for students and young people.[4]

The STA group employs nearly 2,000 people in over 200 branches in 12 different countries, with franchises and business partners in another 48 countries. In 2011, its gross turnover was CHF 997 million (US$1,126 million), with net sales – mostly commission on ticket sales – of CHF 141 million.[3]


The business that became STA was founded in the 1970s. Some sources say it was established in 1971 by the Australian Union of Students (AUS);[5] others that it was founded in 1976 by Dick Porter and another student who had returned to Australia from a round the world trip.[6] Originally trading as AUS Student Travel, the Australian business became insolvent in 1979.[7] Its business, including a related UK company, were acquired by Diethelm Keller in July 1979. [4] It became Student Travel Australia and then STA Travel.[8]

By 1985, the group's income had reached US$60 million, expanding into the US and the Far East in the 1980s and 1990s. As of 2013, it has branches in 12 countries, including the UK, USA, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand.[9]

In 2010, the STA Travel group launched its new travel brand Bridge the World, marking the company's first venture outside the youth and student market, targeting an older and more affluent demographic.[10]

STA Travel acquired the BUNAC brand and its business of arranging overseas work and volunteer programmes in 2011,[11][12] and signed marketing partnership deals with Tourism New Zealand and Tourism Australia in 2013.

In 2014, the company opted to replace the Student Travel Association abbreviation with "Start The Adventure" so as to dissuade anyone that it is solely a company targeting students or those under the age of 26.[13][14][irrelevant citation]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ a b c d Diethelm Keller Group – STA Travel – Facts and Figures
  4. ^ a b c Diethelm Keller Group – STA Travel – Overview
  5. ^ STA Travel, Who we are
  6. ^ The Challenge Judges, Australian Business
  7. ^
  8. ^ Companies House records for STA Travel Limited, Company No. 01263330
  9. ^ Diethelm Keller Group – STA Travel – Profile
  10. ^ STA Travel Group launches bridge the world,, 17 September 2010
  11. ^ BUNAC
  12. ^ Remembrance of Bunac past, Times Higher Education, 4 April 2013
  13. ^ Tourism New Zealand and STA Travel Join Forces To Boost Youth Travel With $1.2m MOU, World Youth Student and Educational Confederation, 16 June 2013
  14. ^ "Tourism Australia strikes £6m deal with STA Travel". Travel Weekly. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 

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