This week our clandestine consumer visited Dumfries in Scotland looking for a rail getaway in Italy for two.
The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Dumfries, Scotland, and requested a 10-14-night rail tour of Italy in September for two people with flights included on a budget of £4,000.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘rail tour Italy’.
Mystery Shopper said: This website caught my eye. It appeared high up in my search results and looked professional. It was easy to navigate, but the search facility was quite limited, so I called to receive a more tailored trip. The consultant was enthusiastic and well informed. They’d recently returned from a month touring Italy and said they’d be happy to offer advice. They asked about my needs and said they’d email me a package. I received a detailed itinerary within 35 minutes. The initial quote included flights from London, but this was because I’d asked for a quote as quickly as possible. The consultant said they’d send details of flights from Scotland the next day, which they did. At £3,131 the package was well within budget. The 12-night trip took in Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan and Siena. Throughout the process I was made to feel like a special customer. I was not pressured into booking and the consultant made me excited about the trip.
Have you been in travel long?
Two months. I used to work as a restaurant hostess. I’m always going on holidays so working in travel was something I was interested in.
What is Railbookers’ most popular trip?
Our Venice via the Alps package, which includes train travel from London all the way to Venice.
What are your favourite parts of Italy?
I have family on the Amalfi coast so that’s special to me. And Venice is incredible. There’s nowhere else like it.
Any exciting trips lined up?
I’m going to Iceland next month, which is a bucket list destination for me.
Any top tips for selling rail holidays?
We use the website seat61.com for reference a lot.
Where are you desperate to visit?
I’d love to go to India. I’ve only ever really travelled in Europe and the US so far.
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.