CANADIAN travel firm Goway Travel has launched an investigation into the “irregular nature of some of the payments” for bookings sold through its Sydney-based Australian office.
The company was founded in 1970 by Australian-born Bruce Hodge, who is now based in Toronto, with the company representing a range of tour operators in Australia, NZ, Fiji, Tahiti and the Cook Islands.
Goway is a significant inbound operator into Australia from North America & Europe, and also established a Sydney retail outbound operation in 2008 which has about two staff.
Hodge has written to affected customers, saying he was recently made aware of the issues, which are understood to have involved so-called “Family and Friends” deals sold via private emails out of the Sydney office, offering purchasers a package of domestic and international flights & accom.
According to complaints on the Goway Facebook page and the Loyalty Lobby website there are “hundreds of people trying to get their money back” with Hodge apologising for the inconvenience experienced by those affected.
Hodge told TD he first heard about the issue on 23 May and immediately froze all bookings on the “too good to be true” deals.
Many payments were not paid to Goway, he said, with his letter to complainants saying the company intends to provide refunds to innocent parties “once we have discovered the full extent of the situation”.
He stressed the issue only related to Goway’s Sydney retail business, with Goway Inbound and other divisions unaffected.
A full forensic audit is underway and “once we have all the facts it may then be necessary to refer the matter to the NSW Police for possible criminal prosecution,” the Goway founder said.