The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Ewell and Epsom, Surrey and requested a city break for two people in Reykjavik, with a budget of £1,400.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘Iceland City Break’.
26 High Street, Epsom
Mystery Shopper said: My first impressions were good; the shop had been updated recently. The store was roomy and I was greeted with a smile from another agent who came from the back. They appeared very knowledgeable about Reykjavik and recommended two different hotels, giving positives and negatives for both. When I asked about excursions they offered one on the first day. If I was unable to see the Northern Lights then, I was ensured I could go the next night; I was guaranteed to have every opportunity to see them. There were two packages offered, one through Thomson and a cheaper one for comparison.
The in-house package was a better fit for the flights at £1,140; including transfers and excursion. The consultant mentioned that alcohol was expensive in Iceland which was useful information. I was told prices may increase if not booked immediately; if I booked with Thomson I would pay a small deposit of £75, I would pay £125 eight weeks later. I had until August 14 to pay the remaining balance. If I had to book this break tomorrow, I would return here to book it.
How long have you been in travel?
Oh it’s been a while now; let me think, 16 years. I originally wanted to be an air-hostess but I grew out of that when my kids were born.
How popular is Reykjavik?
We have only just introduced Iceland as a destination but we see it growing in popularity already. There is so much to do other than see the Northern Lights.
Do you have any selling tips for Reykjavik?
As an agent try and offer alternatives to what people expect; it’s not all just about the Northern Lights. Aim to excite people about things they may not know about.
What locations are on your bucket list?
Iceland is definitely up there – my partner would love to go there too. Canada is a dream destination for me; it just seems so relaxing, San Francisco too.
What is your favourite type of holiday?
I still love beach holidays; I’m actually going back to visit Turkey despite the current political climate.
TTG has teamed up with React Surveys to simulate a realistic booking process each week – that means a mystery shopper looking for the best deal from agents and operators on the high street, online, on TV or in newspapers. The Mystery Shopper research is carried out on behalf of TTG by React Surveys,and no further details or information can be disclosed. Researchers take into consideration first impression, sales process, product and budget match and extras offered before giving an unbiased opinion of which channel/company they would have booked with on that occasion. We do not claim that the winner is the best in an area or specialist sector, as we may report on competing travel firms in the future. Please note that the aim of Mystery Shopper is not to criticise individual agents or companies, but to promote good sales technique for the benefit of all in the travel trade.