Māori couple left in Italy by tour organisers

updated By Kereama Wright

A Rotorua couple left in Italy after being "abandoned" by their tour group organisers have returned to Aotearoa safe and sound.

However, they are concerned since learning that two of their party of 200 have contracted COVID-19. The couple is now self-isolating in their home. Speaking from outside of his whare, Warren Morgan says:

“We’ve been trying to ring the Healthline to see what our next step is, after telling them that two have been confirmed.”

Warren and his wife are hoping to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

The couple had purchased a holiday package a year ago, as a birthday present for Warren. He says, that Trip a Deal, the tour organisers had assured them, that all was well.

“We said, 'What about the virus that’s happening over there?' ”

“They said, 'You’ll be okay because it’s only in Northern Italy,' " Morgan says.

The Milan leg of their trip was cancelled before the trip as it fell in the Northern Italy quarantine field.

Upon arrival to Italy, more cancellations followed and they were left in Italy with only their tour guides to help them.

“We were getting no help from Trip a Deal," Morgan says.

When a tour guide managed to secure them accommodation in a hotel they were contacted by Trip a Deal, asking for their credit card details so that they could get a flight home.

“We had to pay for our own hotel, our own accommodation on the last night," Morgan says.

Since arriving home, Morgan says that no one from Trip a Deal has replied to their numerous requests for help. Warren and his wife Cheryl Adams paid approximately $12,000 NZD for the trip package and then had to pay an additional $5,000 NZD to get home.

“There’s no way we can leave a message or anything.

“That’s the only reason why we went because they assured that it was safe to go," Morgan says.

Morgan's plea to Trip a Deal was to, "Come and talk to us!"

Te Ao Māori News have made repeated attempts to contact Trip a Deal for comment. They have acknowledged that they have received our request and will reply as soon as possible.