The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Omagh, Northern Ireland and requested a three to four-night break for two in Toronto, with a budget range of £1,100-£1,400.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘Toronto City Break’.
The Co-operative Travel, Omagh
Mystery Shopper said:
The shop was spotless and all the consultants were smartly dressed. The door was opened for me and I was invited to sit down instantly. The agent I spoke to was extremely warm and friendly and I had their full attention throughout my visit. No matter how specific my demands, nothing was too much trouble.
They asked lots of questions and took plenty of time to research different options, and we talked through the pros and cons of each. The consultant suggested a hotel that exceeded my expectations as it also provided breakfast. For £1,124 I would be staying at the Comfort Hotel, Toronto, on a B&B basis, and flying from Gatwick with Air Transat.
They also made the effort to shop around for a day trip to the Niagara Falls. My contact details were taken and I was advised that I could pay a deposit to secure the deal, but I never felt pressured.
Jennifer Shannon, store manager, The Co-operative Travel
Have you ever been to Canada?
I’ve never visited, I just know it through my experience in the industry.
Is Toronto a popular destination for your clients?
We sell a lot of twin-centres that combine Toronto and Niagara Falls as there are direct flights from Dublin, which is just under two hours from here.
Have you been in travel long?
I did travel and tourism at college and went straight into it; it’s been 26 years now.
What would you do if you weren’t an agent?
I would have loved to have done nursing, because you work with people and it’s a caring role.
Any exciting trips coming up?
I’m off on P&O Cruises’ new ship Britannia soon - I won a golden ticket. My husband and I are also off to Las Vegas in July.
Which destination is top of your bucket list?
The Canadian Rockies with an Alaska cruise.
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.