Seller of the week

26 Jan 2017

Mystery Shopper's seller of the week: Sharon McLoughlin, Carrick Travel

This week our secret shopper was in Evesham, Worcestershire booking a 10-day music-themed getaway for two in the US Deep South.

Seller of the week: Sharon McLoughlin

The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Evesham, Worcestershire, and requested a 10-day music-themed tour of the US’s Deep South for two in May with a budget of £7,000.


They then made two searches using the term ‘USA Deep South music tour package’.

The winner

The winner

Carrick Travel

57-59 Port Street


Score: 84%


Mystery Shopper said: The window looked attractive and displayed the latest deals and the interior had neatly arranged brochure stands. I received a warm welcome from a friendly consultant. They were smartly dressed and seemed professional and enthusiastic. I was asked lots of questions to establish my needs. The consultant found three options, explaining their pluses and minuses. They gave me brochures and time to read them so I could see which suited me best. The consultant recommended Titan’s Southern Sights and Sounds trip as it had door-to-door chauffeur service and visited all the places I was interested in. It came in under budget at £5,098 and the consultant said it was good value. I was urged to book soon as the trips are popular and availability changes quickly. I was given a brochure to take with me and the consultant emailed me a quote and gave me a business card. They also said they would follow up with a call two days later, which they did.

Meet the consultant

Meet the consultant

Sharon McLoughlin


Carrick Travel


How long in travel?
Since 1989. I’ve been with Carrick for about seven years.

Is the Deep South a popular destination for you?

Yes. We do a lot of touring, and the US often gets asked for.

Tip for selling it?
It’s the 40th anniversary of Elvis’s death this year, so make sure clients plan Graceland visits early and book in advance.

Any trips lined up?
I’m off to Iceland for four days and I’m praying that the Northern Lights will be dancing for us.

Biggest booking?
It was a world cruise for two people, at £29,000pp.

Bucket list destination?

South Africa.

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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Registered address: New Bridge Street House, 30-34 New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6BJ
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