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The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Didcot and requested a seven to nine day adventure holiday in Cuba in April 2016, with a maximum budget of £2,500.


They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘Adventure holiday Cuba’.

The winner

The winner



Score: 75%


Mystery Shopper said: ­The Exodus website appeared high on my Google search and it was easy to find links to the operator’s cycling and hiking pages. The site looked professional, was well laid out, and contact details were readily available, though it was disappointing that the contact number wasn’t freephone. It was easy to filter search results to trips taking place in April 2016 in Cuba and I viewed a range of appealing options. I phoned the company to double check that everything shown online was still available and the consultant confirmed this was the case. The best match was a cycling-focused adventure holiday, the nine-day Exodus Cuban Highlights Ride, which was well over budget at £3,938, but included flights from London and several meals. Once I’d clicked through to view more trip details I was immediately presented with the option to book the trip. No extras were mentioned during the booking process and no incentives were given to encourage me to book there and then.

Cuba booking tips

Cuba booking tips

Andy Ross

Head of product



  • Cuba is very strong for almost any kind of trip right now, but it’s also one of our top five cycling destinations in terms of numbers, and that goes back about 15 years.
  • Our Cuba trip is almost like a cycling trip for non-cyclists, i.e. not serious cyclists. It’s genuinely a nice, relaxing place to ride a bike. There’s an incredible lack of traffic on the roads: there are some old American cars knocking around in Havana but most locals can’t afford a car or even a motorbike. There are some climbs but generally the roads are flat and there’s a support vehicle if anyone’s not 100% sure they can do the distance.
  • The Cycling Cuba trip includes everything a normal sightseeing trip to Cuba would do, but is for the type of people who would find it boring to go on a coach tour. It allows you to see Cuba in a much more active way and interact with the locals.

React Surveys explainer / disclaimer

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.

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