Seller of the week

29 Sep 2016

Mystery Shopper's seller of the week: Rachel Paine, Althams Travel Services

This week we sent our secret shopper to book a south-east Asia tour for two in Halifax.

Seller of the week: Rachel Paine

The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Halifax and requested a south-east Asia tour for 14 to 17 days in May 2017 for two people, with a budget of £6,000.

They then made two searches using the term ‘escorted tour south-east Asia’.

The winner

The winner

Althams Travel Services
7-11 Russell Street


Score 76%


Mystery Shopper said: The welcome was immediate and the consultant appeared interested and attentive from the outset. It felt as though they were experienced in this type of holiday and they asked questions to establish my needs. I stayed briefly in the agency and the consultant said they would call me the next day and email details. The quote included information about what I could do during the tour and the main sights for each destination were summarised, with accompanying images. They suggested a tailor-made itinerary with Travelmood departing Heathrow and taking in multiple destinations for £5,545. The consultant phoned the next morning and again Tuesday. They were keen to secure the business in a friendly manner. I would have scored them even higher but I felt the sales process, although efficient, was a little hurried for my status as a first-time traveller to the area in need of reassurance.

Meet the consultant

Meet the consultant

Rachel Paine,
travel consultant,
Althams Travel Services, Halifax


How long with Althams?
I’ve been here six years now, it was my first full-time job in travel.

How long in travel?
I worked part-time at Home and Away travel agency while I was studying Travel and Tourism.

What’s selling well now?
Last-minute Canaries and the Caribbean, particularly Mexico – we do lots of two-week package holidays there.

Do you get many enquiries for south-east Asia?
Yes, for tours. Thailand is the most popular country.

Top holiday destination?
I like Rhodes in Greece. It’s so varied, you can go sightseeing, you’ve got the beach and I love the food. We’re all mad about gyros here.

Where’s your next trip?
I’ve just got back from a family holiday to Tenerife with my husband and kids and I’m heading off there again soon on a fam trip with

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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