The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Trafford, Greater Manchester, and requested a seven-night holiday for a gay couple in Tenerife, with a budget of £2,500.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘five-star Tenerife holiday’.
3rd: ITC Luxury Travel
4th: Miss Ellies Travel
Mystery Shopper said: This was one of the top results returned and it emphasised that it specialised in luxury hotels. I had the choice of continuing alone, phoning or requesting a call back within one minute – “live web chat” was also available. I used the live chat to speak to a consultant. With their help I found the five-star Villa Cortes with features such as wellness classes and a 24-hour gym. It was close to a beach and had five swimming pools and a hot tub. The entire holiday, including easyJet flights, came within budget at £2,451. The website also introduced a range of additional products such as baggage and transfers. The photos and videos on the site enticed me to engage with the holiday in a way that would encourage booking. It also proved simple to book a room with a double bed, with the site outlining that a booking was welcomed by us as two males in a relationship.
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.