The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Gateshead and requested a tour of Chile and Argentina for 14 to 17 days for a couple in their 40s in November 2017, with a budget of £10,000.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘Chile Argentina escorted tours’.
19 The Galleria, Metrocentre
Mystery Shopper said: The store was very attractive and gave an instant feel of luxury; it was modern, neat and tidy. Upon entering I was greeted by a smartly-dressed consultant who led me to their desk. The agent seemed excited about the trip and they flicked straight to the right page of a brochure with an example of a suitable holiday. After a brochure search it became evident that there wasn’t an exact match, so they said they would tailor a holiday to suit me instead. They asked about the standard of hotel I was after and although the holiday came over budget at £11,300 for 16 days, it was well matched and found quickly and smoothly. I was given clear details of flights, including prices, and was recommended the best times. I left the store feeling happy and confident I would receive special treatment if I was to book a holiday with them. I also received an email later that day with an itinerary and quote.
Personal travel expert
How long in travel?
I’ve only been in the industry for nine months. I started at Kuoni in June 2016.
How often do you sell Argentina and Chile?
I have had a couple of enquires to South America before but this was the first time that I’ve tried to sell this particular tour.
Tips for selling it?
Make sure you are aware of the top attractions. Mention three or four activities to clients that you would want to do if you were going there on holiday.
What’s selling well right now?
Lots of people are looking at Polynesia. The Maldives and Bali are popular too.
Where’s next on your travel wish list?
I would love to visit South Africa as I’ve never done a safari. Although the list is as long as my arm.
What are your suitcase essentials?
A waterproof phone case, sun cream and a Kindle for reading. I’m a practical traveller.
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.