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The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Cork and requested a 10-day ski holiday to Whistler for an active couple in December 2017, with a budget of £6,000.


They then made two searches using the term ‘skiing holiday Whistler’.


Winner: Crystal Ski Holidays

2nd: Shandon Travel

3rd: Inghams

4th: Lee Travel

The winner

The winner

Crystal Ski Holidays


Score: 86%

Mystery Shopper said:
The website had “Whistler Ski Holidays” in its hyperlink, which brought me directly to information about the breaks. The banner at the top allowed me to input dates of travel and the destination overview provided a clear and detailed description of Whistler as a ski resort. The search facility returned seven holidays with both budget and luxury options for my departure dates. I telephoned an agent, who answered in an upbeat and friendly manner. They said regional flights from Dublin had not yet been released, so I may want to call back at a later date if I wanted those flights. But there were options available from Heathrow, as well as a 14-day package departing on December 23 for £5,010. I was also able to find detailed information on the hotel and resort suggested to me online with recent TripAdvisor reviews. Overall, the website offered detailed information on each hotel so that the customer could make an informed decision.

Crystal Ski Holidays' top five selling tips

  • Remind clients to book early as there are large discounts on accommodation, flights and lift passes. Some can be as much as 50% off, so clients should book early for the best price.

  • Whistler gets huge amounts of snow, meaning the slopes are lovely and soft for beginners and intermediates, and those good skiers will likely get a good powder day.

  • Size is everything – this is the largest ski resort in North America and there’s virtually endless terrain to suit all abilities. The village is big too, with great apres-ski and an incredible choice of restaurants.

  • The drive from Vancouver to Whistler – the “Sea to Sky Highway” – is a highlight. It’s not just a great name; the view over the straights and green rainforest islands rising out of the water is spectacular.

  • Combine a stay in Whistler with Vancouver. Take a whale watching cruise, walk around Stanley Park or just discover the different areas in this beautiful city.

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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TTG - Travel Trade Gazette
For Smarter, Better, Fairer Travel
TTG Media Limited.
Place of registration: England and Wales.
Company number 08723341.
Registered address: 6th Floor, 2 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU