The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Northwich, Cheshire, and requested a seven-night holiday to Hurghada, Egypt, for two people in October 2015, staying in an adults-only resort on a maximum budget of £2,500. They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘adults-only holiday Hurghada’
Thomson, 5 Witton Street, Northwich
Mystery Shopper said: The agency was immaculate, bright and well-presented. I was acknowledged immediately and the consultants were friendly and helpful.
The agent asked lots of questions to determine my needs – even aspects such as whether having evening entertainment was important and whether we wanted food on the flight – and wrote these down. They were able to find exactly what I wanted on the right dates and suggested hotels that were within my budget. The best option was the all-inclusive, adults-only, Premier Le Reve Hotel & Spa, with flights from Manchester, for £1,764.
The consultant went through the holiday in great detail, showing me pictures of the hotel and its facilities. They demonstrated excellent product knowledge and made me feel excited about the holiday. I was encouraged to book as soon as possible to avoid missing out on what the consultant advised was a good deal.
Chantelle Hudd, travel adviser, Thomson
Have you been in travel long?
Only since December. Beforehand I was a spa therapist, but working in travel is something I’ve always wanted to do.
Why spa therapy?
I did an apprenticeship and wanted to get lots of experience in customer service. Now I have the added bonus of being able to recommend spa treatments!
Have you ever visited North Africa?
I’ve never been but my colleagues have and they’ve given me information about it. It’s definitely somewhere I’d like to go.
Any exciting holidays coming up?
I’ve never really done a city break before so my objective is to go to Amsterdam in the next couple of months. I’ve even had customers advising me on where I should go!
Does North Africa still seem popular among your clients?
I’ve just sold a holiday to Sharm el Sheikh and the client was very happy.
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.