Mystery shopper: Winchester, a solo trip to Australia

Mystery shopper: Winchester, a solo trip to Australia

Location: Winchester
Wanted: A solo traveller is seeking a three week holiday in November in Australia. They want to visit Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney and would be interested in pre-booking excursions.
Budget: £8,000

Travelbag
99 High Street

90%
As I entered, I was welcomed with a smile by a cheerful agent. I was offered a 21-day trip from Travelbag’s Australia & New Zealand brochure, visiting all of the places I had requested, for £4,645. Flights were with Etihad Airways on November 1, with accommodation at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Melbourne, Pavilion on Northbourne in Canberra and the DeVere Hotel or Novotel Manly in Sydney. I was also given personal recommendations by the agent, who had excellent knowledge of the country. She suggested car hire and excursions in each area that needed pre-booking, plus excursions that could be booked out there. The agent took my contact details and said she would email a full quote the following day, which she did.

Hays Travel
26 The Square

88%
The shop was well kept and the staff greeted me in a friendly manner. An agent took my contact details and promised a follow-up email, which I received the next day with an itinerary. I was offered a 20-day holiday from the Hays Faraway Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific brochure, flying with Qantas from Heathrow on November 5, for £5,586. The agent was helpful and friendly, but had to ask a colleague, an Australia expert, to do the quote.

The Independent Holiday Shop
Unit 35, The Brooks

82%
The shop was inviting and the staff greeted me with a smile. An attentive agent took my details and suggested a 20-day trip from Travel 2’s Australia and New Zealand brochure, flying with Emirates from Heathrow on November 5, for £7,242. The quote included car hire details and offered excursions in each destination. The agent asked fewer questions but provided a suitable itinerary and made more of my budget.


Winning agent

Carly O’Neill, sales consultant, Travelbag

“I am so excited! I have been at Travelbag for three years and enjoy the variety I encounter every day, with all the places customers want to visit.”


Verdict

All our visited agents did well this week, with the winner’s customer service exceeding the others.


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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