The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Chard, Somerset, and requested a three-night holiday to New York in June for a couple with a budget of £1,600.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘New York weekend break’.
Mystery Shopper said: The website caught my eye in the search results. It had an attractive first page and an easy to navigate menu with clearly labelled tabs. As a potential customer I was happy to browse through the site and felt like it answered all my questions. When I input my travel preferences, a search quickly returned flights with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from Bristol and the Holiday Inn Express New York Manhattan West Side. Once I added transfers and CityPasses the total was within budget at £1,499 – a saving of £56 was shown. The departure airport suited my needs, the hotel had a good TripAdvisor rating and the package seemed good value for money. Atol and Abta logos reassured me. I felt like I had all I needed to book the holiday, and would be comfortable doing so.
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.