‘Ethical’ travel company goes bust, leaving customers out of pocket


Airplane in the sky at sunset

We Are Bamboo sold vacations and volunteer work in developing countries.
Photo: 123RF

A New Zealand company specializing in “ethical” travel has gone bust, leaving hundreds of customers out of pocket.

We Are Bamboo, which sold holidays and volunteer experiences in developing countries, wrote to customers in late October that Covid and negative publicity on social media had ruined the business.

A statement on its website said: “There is a small group of individuals who have not been willing to wait and their actions and online influence have broken us, which affects us all.”

More than 1,000 people have joined the “Bamboo rip off” group on Facebook, while an online petition on change.org entitled We Are Bamboo – We Want Our Money Back has more than 1,200 signatures.

Australian Scott Dousha, who founded the Facebook group, said he was driven by frustration after company directors – Lower Hutt man Colin Salisbury and Mark Foster-Murray – repeatedly failed to come forward.

“In my view, blaming us is totally narcissistic behavior.

“It wasn’t us who destroyed the company. They have taken thousands of dollars from the New Zealand government during Covid and they have continued to take thousands of dollars from customers.

“That was our money and they took it.”

Dousha and his partner have more than $14,000 out of pocket, including $6,000 they paid We Are Bamboo more than two years ago for a Uganda trip that was delayed multiple times, as well as non-refundable flights.

He said he asked for his money in 2020 when the tour was first canceled but was told it was not possible at the time and the tour would be rebooked.

The company will continue to accept bookings and deposits until it collapses, he said.

Salisbury and Foster-Murray, who are based abroad, have removed social media posts showing their lavish lifestyles.

“Foster-Murray got married in a castle in Wales in 2020 and Colin Salisbury built a yacht and boasted about how he will sail around the world.”

No one from We Are Bamboo could be reached for comment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *