Seller of the week

28 Jan 2016

Mystery Shopper's seller of the week:

This week we evaluate the options in Pontypridd for a holiday in Costa Brava.

Mystery Shopper Jan28

The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Pontypridd, Wales and requested a one-week holiday for two adults and one child to the Costa Brava, with a budget of £1,200 in May half-term.


They then made two searches using the term ‘Costa Brava beach holiday’.

The winner

The winner


Score: 86%


Mystery Shopper said: ­The website was one of the first sponsored ads that appeared. It also stated the key words “sale” and “low deposit”. The site loaded quickly and looked professional and informative. A contact number was in a prominent position. It was easy to search for Costa Brava, and all UK airports were available. I searched for flights and then for hotels. There was a brief description for each one and a TripAdvisor link. There were plenty of options fitting my budget, and it was clear how much the extras cost and the breakdown of the overall price. The finer details were well explained and told me everything I needed to know. The only issue was I could not find a list of pre-bookable excursions on the website. I was able to spread out the payments, paying up to two weeks before my departure, and no other company was able to offer this. The range of holidays and easy-to-use website swung it in OntheBeach’s favour.

Selling tips: Costa Brava


Combines golden beaches and crystal clear waters with rocky promontories and little coves backed by sheer cliffs topped with pine and oak forests. The interior is equally stunning, with pristine medieval villages.



All year round, it is possible to see the sardana – traditional Catalan dance – being performed. Each town's Festa Major involves merrymaking and dancing, colourful processions are the order of the day at Easter, and Carnival in February offers another excuse for frantic partying.



The Marineland complex near Blanes is hugely popular. There’s also the the mind-blowing Surrealist art of the Dali museum at Figueras, the drama of Montserrat’s Benedictine monastery and Europe’s biggest water park, just outside Lloret de Mar.




React Surveys explainer / disclaimer

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.

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