Mystery shopper: Barnsley, a beach holiday in Turkey

Mystery shopper: Barnsley, a beach holiday in Turkey

Location: Barnsley, South Yorkshire
Wanted: A family with teenage kids want a beach holiday in Turkey at Easter. They’d like to know about water sports and book an excursion, but are concerned about safety in the country.
Budget: £3,500

Thomson
10 Queen Street
99%
The agency was very clean and looked professional and inviting. After being acknowledged right away, I was offered two all-inclusive holidays that matched my criteria. They were both with Thomson, flying from Manchester with Thomson Airways on March 30. The first was at Tui Sensatori Resort Sorgun, with a Manavgat market and waterfall river cruise and water sports included. It cost £3,514, with a £200 discount. A second option was Hotel Baia Lara, with the same excursions and water sports at £3,134. The first was based on the agent’s experience. On safety, I was referred to government advice. They were keen to find my ideal holiday and interested in following up, but there was no pressure.

The Co-operative Travel
19A Market Street
81%
The agency was tidy and well presented and the agent was helpful and engaging. I was offered a Thomas Cook holiday, flying Thomas Cook Airlines on April 2 from Manchester and staying all-inclusive at the Sentido Numa Bay in Antalya. It cost £2,539, but didn’t include tours and water sports. The agent found some with external suppliers, but they only had 2017 prices. The agent was attentive and diligent but lacked knowledge of the area.

Wordsworth Travel
11 New Street
54%
I was acknowledged immediately at this smart agency but the agent was a bit cold and talked over me. I was told Turkey was not good at Easter as it is ‘their winter’. The agent took my details, but said it would take time to get a quote as they’re an independent. I was emailed seven all-inclusive hotels, and flights from Manchester on March 30, but there was no talk of excursions. Prices ranged from £2,500 to £3,496, including flights.


Winning agent

Tracey Lyon, Travel advisor

“As soon as they mentioned Turkey I knew what they’d want. I’ve been to that Sensatori on an educational and my own holiday, so know the product and the extras well. And we always refer people to government travel advice.”


Verdict

The Thomson agent nailed the brief to the finest point. The Co-operative also put in a solid effort, while Wordsworth’s honest advice affected their score as it didn’t chime with what the customer wanted.


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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