Mystery shopper: High Wycombe, a long-haul beach holiday

Mystery shopper: High Wycombe, a long-haul beach holiday

Location: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Wanted: A young professional couple want a long-haul beach holiday for a week or 10 days in April or May. They are looking at the Maldives but would consider other options.
Budget: £3,000

Tui
8-10 White Hart Street
95%
The agent smiled as soon as I entered the shop, was very friendly and asked lots of questions. We found that the Maldives was out of my budget so I was given two options in Mauritius. The first departed April 15 staying all-inclusive at the Emeraude Beach Attitude Hotel in Belle Mare for £3,100. The second departed on April 22 to stay at Tui Sensimar Lagoon Mauritius on Anse La Raie at £2,982 including extra-legroom seats on the flights, insurance and transfers. Both departed Heathrow with Tui Airlines. I was given two brochures and a detailed printed quote, and the agent followed up within a couple of days. She did the best job possible with my budget and requirements.

Kuoni
Eden Shopping Centre, 42 Newland Street
94%
The shop was inviting and I was given a friendly greeting. I was offered seven nights’ full-board at Biyadhoo on Male Hulue in the Maldives was £2,915 on May 1. Three Mauritius options were given: four star hotels Zilwa Attitude and Solana Beach at £3,072 and £2,990 respectively departing April 18. And Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok departing on May 1 for £2,997. All flights were from Heathrow.

Thomas Cook
25 White Hart Street
78%
The agent seemed nervous when the system didn’t show anything for my dates. They warmed as we talked but I didn’t see any brochures. I was emailed four quotes. Seven nights’ all-inclusive in the Maldives was £3,291, flying on April 13, while 10 nights’ all-inclusive in Mauritius, from April 23, was £3,350. Both were from Heathrow. Ten-night options in Mexico and Sri Lanka were also offered. Overall, the service lacked some sparkle.


Winning agent 

Megan Franks, assistant manager

“We prefer to sell Tui hotels, and we have one in Mauritius which fitted the budget. And follow-ups are so important to making sure the customer is happy.”


Verdict

Both Tui and Kuoni impressed with the all-round booking experience. The Tui agent’s inclusion of all the extras and follow-up call sealed the win, while Thomas Cook’s systems let its agent down 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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