This week our secret shopper was in Maidstone, Kent, booking a fortnight tour in Costa Rica for a solo traveller.
The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Maidstone and requested a 10-day to two-week group tour in Costa Rica, travelling in November 2017 for a solo traveller with a budget of £4,000.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘Costa Rica group tour solo traveller’.
21-23 Earl Street
Mystery Shopper said: The agency was clean and tidy with smartly dressed consultants and attractive brochure display racks. I was waiting just a few minutes before an agent asked me if I needed help. I told the consultant what I was looking for and they checked several brochures before suggesting I book with either Explore or Exodus. The agent then called both suppliers and gave me quotes for a selection of tours of various lengths. They were very enthusiastic about them and told me that the longer tours were better as Costa Rica was a destination I may only visit once. The suggested itinerary was with Explore including Gatwick flights from £3,014. At the end of the visit the agent gave me their card and said they would email me the quotes. Throughout the process, the consultant showed professionalism and did their best to secure the top holiday for me.
How long in travel?
Eighteen years now – and I’ve been with Baldwins for 11 years.
How often do you sell Costa Rica?
It is becoming increasingly popular, especially with solo travellers.
Tips for selling it?
Recommend your client books a guided tour with a beach extension at the end.
Best destination travelled to?
I would have to say Peru – it was such an incredible experience visiting Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca.
Funnily enough, it would be Costa Rica. I love photography, so taking pictures of the wildlife there would be amazing.
If you weren’t in travel?
I’m passionate about gardening and cooking, so I would probably do something in those fields.
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.