Mystery shopper: Oxford, a relaxed Cyprus beach break

Mystery shopper: Oxford, a relaxed Cyprus beach break

Location: Oxford
Wanted: Four female friends would like to go on a relaxed beach holiday to Cyprus in October. They would like good pool facilities and to be close to bars and restaurants.
Budget: £2,500

Thomson
18 The Square, Templars Square shopping centre
74%

As I entered the store a helpful and attentive agent welcomed me. He recommended seven nights with Thomson at the St George Hotel, Paphos, on a half-board basis flying with Thomson Airlines from Gatwick to Paphos on October 7 for £3,116. The accommodation was great for our group, but was well over budget. The agent didn’t recommend car hire or Thomson trips in the area, but took my contact details and said he would keep looking for resorts I may be interested in. He knew the area and did his best to find something suitable, but I would have preferred a quote closer to my budget.

Thomas Cook
101 Pound Way, Templars Square shopping centre

72%
The agent was friendly and helpful. I was recommended a seven-night stay with Airtours at Tsokkos Paradise Village, Ayia Napa, in two rooms half-board, flying from Gatwick to Larnaca, costing £2,331 and departing on October 11. The agent appeared to have a good understanding of the area, but did not ask for my details. She gave me a brochure to take away. The holiday was in budget, but she did not offer any extras or trips.

Co-operative Travel
126 London Road
54%

The store had a good range of brochures and was well kept, but the agent had little knowledge of the area. They were polite but didn’t smile or make me feel welcome. I was recommended a sevennight stay at Hotel Kissos, Paphos, with Skytours on October 1 for £2,180. The hotel was near the beach and within budget, but the agent didn’t discuss flights. She made no attempt to upgrade the holiday or offer any other products.


Winning agentmysteryshopper-2303

Jack Hardy, travel advisor

“I love selling holidays. I always try to give personal recommendations. My favourite part is hearing about clients’ holiday experiences.”


Verdict

The winner would have scored better had he been closer to the budget, but he went the extra mile in the service provided and was knowledgeable about the destination.


Elite resorts caribbean

Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a car for 10 days.

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Winners under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Elite Island Resorts will endeavour to supply the car to the agency but reserves the right to request the winning agent to collect and return the car from Essex or a central location

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