Seller of the week

12 May 2016

Mystery Shopper's seller of the week: Yvonne Matthias, Travelplaces

This week we went undercover in Mold, Flintshire booking a US national parks tour.

Mystery-Shopper Yvonne Matthias

The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Mold, Flintshire and requested a US national parks tour for a retired couple in late September, with a budget of £6,000.


They then made two searches using the term ‘escorted tour USA national parks’.

The winner

The winner


10 New Street


Score 94%


Mystery Shopper said: The outside was clean and tidy, with window posters on display. Inside was calm, with neatly stacked brochures. I was greeted by a smartly dressed consultant who gave me their name and asked how they could help me. The agent was full of information regarding the holiday and suggested the Titan brochure might suit me. They rang to see what the best price was and included me in the conversation. The Awe Inspiring National Parks tour came in at £7,920, flying from Heathrow, with excursions included. As I suffer from claustrophobia on planes, they reassured me they could reserve a window seat at the time of booking. They also said they would arrange our ESTAs and recommended pre-booking a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon. They encouraged me to come back, saying the tour was filling up quickly. I would definitely book here. The agent was genuinely interested in ensuring that I had the holiday of a lifetime.

Meet the consultant

Meet the consultant

Yvonne Matthias




How long in travel?
My business partner Norma and I have 60 years’ combined experience.

Do you sell the USA national parks often?
We sell them quite regularly; we do a lot with Titan and Saga.

What are your selling tips?
Be friendly and give your client time to think things over. Get up and open the door for them or make them a cup of coffee.

Who are your typical clientele?
We have a very loyal following with 96% of our queries leading to a booking.

What’s been the best booking you’ve ever made?
I once booked a family of 16 to Barbados for Christmas.

Where are you going on holiday this year?
I’ve actually won a week’s stay in Nevis through Elegant Resorts.

Which destinations are on your bucket list?
South Africa. I went years ago and would like to do the Garden Route and see Cape Town.

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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