The mystery shopper visited and called two travel agencies in Stirling and requested an escorted tour in Burma for a retired couple in late spring 2016, with a budget between £6,000 and £8,000.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘escorted tour Burma’
Barrhead Travel, Stirling
Mystery Shopper said: My call was greeted in a friendly manner and the consultant introduced themselves by name. They were friendly and helpful. They advised me that their agency was busy, that they needed time to research the holiday and would call me back. They rang back as promised at 5.30pm that day with details of a 17-day tour with Wendy Wu that had recently received excellent feedback from another customer.
The total price was £7,780, and it was available for booking in March, then in October and November in 2016. They phoned back an hour later with details of another tour so I could compare, but this wasn’t as suitable as the first.
They gave me a quick breakdown of prices and dates available and I was advised that the tour operator would pick me up from home and take me to the airport, and that visas cost extra. They called again a few days later to follow up. I was impressed by their enthusiasm.
Janis Millar, luxury travel consultant, Barrhead Travel
How many years in travel?
I’ve been an agent since 2003, working for Thomas Cook, The Co-operative Travel and now Barrhead.
Do you get many enquiries for Burma?
It’s still quite rare but we are starting to see more now. Wendy Wu is excellent for Asia and I always go to them first.
Have you been to Burma?
Not yet, but I’d love to. I’ve been to Thailand, which was fantastic.
Where did you last holiday?
Just last week I cruised with CMV on Magellan to Norway. We rode the Flam Railway through the snow - it was gorgeous!
What is Stirling famous for?
Robert the Bruce fought the Battle of Bannockburn here in 1314. Stirling has a big picturesque castle and we’re the gateway to the Highlands
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.