STA Travel is a travel company owned by the Swiss Diethelm Keller Group, with headquarters in Zurich and London. It claims to be the world’s largest travel company for students and young people.
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.
The business that became STA was founded in the 1970s. Some sources say the it was established in 1971 by the Australian Union of Students (AUS); others that it was founded in 1976 by Dick Porter and another student who had returned to Australia from a round the world trip. Originally trading as AUS Student Travel, the Australian business became insolvent in 1979. Its business, including a related UK company, were acquired by Diethelm Keller in July 1979. It became Student Travel Australia and then STA Travel.
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