Mystery shopper: Burnley, 18-year-olds first foreign holiday

Mystery shopper: Burnley, 18-year-olds first foreign holiday

Location: Burnley
Wanted: Five 18-year-olds are planning their first foreign holiday and want a party atmosphere at a price that won’t break the bank with a low deposit. Where does the agent recommend?
Budget: £500

Brunlea Travel
47-49 Hammerton Street
The window display was eye catching and the shop was clean inside with a neat brochure layout. A friendly agent offered me three options. Two were to Benidorm: 10 nights from April 17 with Jet2holidays, staying all-inclusive at Port Fiesta Park for £499 per person with a £60 deposit; and seven nights’ all-inclusive at Port Vista Oro with Thomas Cook, departing March 21 for £355 with a £250 deposit. I was also offered 10 nights’ all-inclusive in Fuerteventura at Club Hotel Drago Park, flying with Thomas Cook Airlines, for £500, to be paid in full. The agent was very helpful and understood the importance of good weather and nightlife, but she might have done more to try to close the sale.

Thomas Cook
15 Curzon Street
The agent was informative and the shop tidy with a well-stocked brochure display. I was offered a week’s half-board at IFA Buenaventura Hotel in Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria, for £407 per person; 10 days’ full-board at Poseidon Playa in Benidorm, flying on February 18 for £346; and 10 days at Port Vista Oro in Benidorm on the same dates for £328. Thorough information was given for each holiday but the agent did not do much to try to close the sale.

Althams Travel
12 St James’s Street
This shop was clean but it was three minutes before I was approached. The agent was well-presented but not overly engaged. I was offered two holidays: a week’s full-board at Levante Club in Benidorm with Jet2holidays on February 28, for £421 per person with a £60 deposit; and a week’s half-board at Eden apartments in Gran Canaria, flying on February 25 with Jet2holidays, for £522 and £60 deposit. I was told there was a £100 discount if I booked soon.

Winning agent

Marie Haworth, travel agent

“We gets lots of group bookings, like stag and hen parties, so five is quite a small group. Price is important when you’re competing with online where you see deposits of £25, so you have to get good deals and still give the same service.”


With a relatively straightforward brief, the key was to offer something affordable and easy for a young group. Brunlea Travel’s all inclusive options ticked the boxes, as did Thomas Cook’s, but both could have done more to try to seal a booking.

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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