Help Students Recover Thousands from Cancelled School Trips with No Guaranteed Refunds.

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This year, 13 New Zealand High Schools were set to be traveling internationally on school trips organized by tourism company "Student Horizons". Due to COVID-19's effect on travel and tourism, the trips were unable to proceed as planned. Destinations include Europe, Asia, and the USA. These trips were unfortunately canceled, and refunds have not been given to families. Help us make things right and help these families recover all their hard-earned money which has essentially gone to waste.

Some students and parents spent up to 4 years, saving up, and paying to be a part of these trips. There was obviously a lot of anticipation around being able to go on these exciting educational tours. Students worked part-time jobs, held fundraising events, and worked hard for a long time. In late March and early April, Student Horizons realized that these tours may not be able to go ahead as planned and called a meeting with students attending, parents, teachers involved, and senior management of schools. In these meetings, SH put forward options to decide what decision will be made in regard to the continuation of the tours. This was before hard travel bans on NZ were placed. The options provided to schools were as follows:

Continuing with the trip as intended, obviously the least popular option looking at the state of some countries affected by COVID-19, especially Europe.

Postponing the trip - with an increase of 15% and onward on top of the thousands of dollars already paid.

Rerouting the trip - also at least a 15% increase.

Complete cancellation - With only as little as a 10% refund in the "worst-case scenario" and just over 50% in the "best-case scenario". Until the money is not recovered, families do not even know how much they will be getting back.

According to NZ Herald: "The total cost of the Epsom Girls Grammar School three-week history tour to London, France, Germany, and Poland in July was $8820 per student, including the cost of four teachers, totaling around $176,000"

Jamie Wasley, owner of Student Horizons has claimed they are not contractually obligated to refund any money but felt "morally and ethically" they are. Families are hoping for more transparency by the company. Despite the low amount families are able to recover, they aren't going to get their money back till possibly the end of the year, staggered over seven months. This financial loss on top of the distress of canceling a trip which students were looking forward to for years has really affected some families. On behalf of all the schools affected, we are hoping that the appropriate ministers and the New Zealand government will do what they can to compensate for the loss of these families.