Location: Canterbury, Kent
Wanted: Three friends want to tour Vietnam in November for up to two weeks. If possible, they would also like to visit Cambodia to see historic temples and popular sights.
8-9 The Parade
The agent was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the request. We discussed ways to travel across the countries within my budget. The agent put together a 12-day Vietnam and Cambodia trip, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, flying from Heathrow on November 6, for £4,046. The price included flights with Thai International and Vietnam Airlines, and accommodation at the Somerset Grand Hanoi, Millennium Boutique Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and Angkor Paradise Hotel in Siem Reap. I was provided with a full itinerary for each day, including boat transfers and areas of interest to visit. The agent said she would follow up our request by email with other suggestions.
16 Whitefriars Street
I felt this agent was going through the motions, as they didn’t even take my name. I was offered an eight-day Jules Verne Holidays Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia tour, flying with Vietnam Airlines from Heathrow, for £3,885. Also suggested was the Treasure of Indochina tour, but this was £2,000 overbudget. The trips were sourced straight from a brochure. The agent could have personalised the experience or incorporated more research.
The agent was welcoming at first but lost interest on hearing my budget. I was recommended an 18-day trip with Intrepid Travel, staying in B&Bs, and given a brochure. The price was estimated at £3,795, excluding flights, which would cost £800. This tour was the only option given and was longer than I wanted to go for and overbudget. Despite knowing my budget, the agent continued to talk about the tour, and offered no alternatives. No contact details were exchanged.
Kelly Wynn, senior consultant
“I have worked for Flight Centre for 10 years and always try to dig a little deeper with each customer in an attempt to source the perfect trip for them.”
The budget for this request was deliberately limited to challenge the agents. The winner combined enthusiasm with a suitable holiday at the right price.
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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