Mystery shopper: Poole, 10 days exploring Ontario

Mystery shopper: Poole, 10 days exploring Ontario

Location: Poole, Dorset
Wanted: A couple want to spend about 10 days exploring Ontario by car in May. They want to stay in Toronto and visit Niagara Falls and want recommendations of other places to visit.
Budget: £4,000

Hays Travel
Dolphin Shopping Centre
83%
The service at this clean and attractive agency was very friendly. An agent suggested a fairly simple fly-drive with Gold Medal, staying at the Holiday Inn in Toronto – which he said was handy for all the major attractions – for the full 10 nights with return British Airways flights from Heathrow to Toronto and car hire for the duration with National Car Rental to be collected and dropped off at the airport. The total cost was £2,946 and it departed May 15. The enthusiastic agent had been to Toronto so I felt he understood my needs. We discussed excursions but he did not try to upgrade the holiday, close the sale or give me a brochure, which would have brought the holiday to life a bit more.

Thomas Cook
19-21 Kingland Crescent
65%
The shop was clean and tidy. An agent suggested a Thomas Cook Signature holiday, staying at the Grand Hotel & Suites Toronto for 10 nights’ B&B. The flight was from Gatwick but no airline was specified. The total cost was £2,991 including car hire. The agent talked through lots of excursions, and suggested four – including two at Niagara Falls – for an extra £260. I wasn’t shown a brochure. I felt the agent was patient but lacked knowledge

Virgin Holidays
Concession in Tesco, Yarrow Road
64%
This agency, behind the checkout tills in a Tesco, was neat and tidy. The agent was friendly but the interaction felt scripted. I was recommended a 14-day Virgin Holidays trip, staying room-only at The Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, but with the option to add breakfast. The total cost was £3,166 including car hire and flights from Heathrow with Air Canada. The agent didn’t really help on excursions but warned I’d need an Esta visa and did try to close the sale.


Winning agent

Kyle Gretton, apprentice travel agent

“I’ve been to Toronto and Niagara Falls so I know the area and how far away things are, which really helped me advise this customer. It’s great to win, especially as an apprentice.”


Verdict

The Hays agent’s experience of going to Toronto and suggestions on excursions helped him sell the holiday and make it sound exciting. His enthusiasm stood out this week.


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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