The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, and requested a 21-day trip to Sydney, Cairns and Uluru for two people in November, with a budget of £6,000-8,000.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘Sydney, Rock and Reef’
Round the World Experts
Mystery Shopper said:
The website looked clean and attractive and was easy to navigate, plus contact details were clearly displayed. The consultant I spoke to was exceptional from start to finish.
Bright and personable, they created a rapport with me, asking plenty of questions to establish my needs and to tailor the holiday to suit me. The suggested package was slightly over budget at £8,192, but it included a mixture of B&B and room-only board, as well as tours and transfers.
There was a nice mix of luxury hotels and more economical options and the itinerary seemed varied and exciting. No extras were offered as incentives for us to book that day, but every encouragement was given to keep the lines of communication open, and key selling points of the company (such as the “Travel Butlers” concierge service) were explained to me in detail.
Sheena Umpleby, Team leader, Round the World Experts
Have you been in travel long?
It’s all I’ve ever done and I’ll have been at Round the World Experts for eight years in July.
Have you visited Australia before?
I’ve been eight times. I worked out there for nine months when I was 24 and I’m going back next Easter.
Is Sydney, Rock and Reef the most typical enquiry you receive?
Definitely for first-timers. On the second trip, people often do the Great Ocean Road or Wester Australia, and after that they might visit Tasmania.
Is Australia still a popular destination?
It used to be a good 75% of our business; now it’s probably 60% as Asia has become popular.
What’s your favourite part of Australia?
Western Australia has it all - amazing beaches, great wine and the outback.
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.