Location: Brighton & Hove
Wanted: Three friends are looking for a deal on a last-minute all-inclusive holiday for a specific week they all have off. They are flexible on destination but want a nice hotel.
Budget: £500 per person
284 Portland Road, Hove
This tidy shop had vibrant window displays. I was acknowledged as I entered and asked my requirements. The agent was knowledgeable and showed me maps of each country we discussed, but didn’t ask whether we wanted to relax or party. I was offered three options: £440 per person at the Iberostar Sunny Beach Resort, Bulgaria; £565 at the Occidental Jandia Mar, Fuerteventura; and £455 at the SunConnect Atlantique Holiday Club in Izmir, Turkey. The agent suggested viewing higher-priced options and said he would look into discounting them to meet our budget. He was friendly but could have been more proactive in following the enquiry up.
58 North Street, Brighton
The shop was clean but the windows were a tad dull. An agent approached me straight away, having passed her customers on to a colleague. She said Turkey was affordable, but I was offered a Thomas Cook holiday at the three-star Zante Plaza Hotel in Zante, Greece, for £554 per person – slightly over budget. The agent was friendly and attentive. She seemed interested in the hotels and offered lots of detail.
131-132 North Street, Brighton
The shop was tidy but the window displays a little bare. I had to wait more than five minutes as the agents were serving other customers. I asked more questions than the agent, although I was asked if we wanted to be near a beach. The only quote I was given was for a First Choice holiday to SuneoClub Serenity Bay in Tsarevo, Bulgaria, for £527 per person. It was hard to read as there was overlapping text on the print-out.
Yousif Ibrahim, director, Holiday Time
“Maybe 20% of enquiries are for last-minute holidays. I usually look closer to home, but sometimes Thailand is cheaper than Tenerife, so it’s always worth looking farther afield.”
Holiday Time pipped Thomas Cook with its range of options and better prices, but could have done more to have closed the sale. The multiples stuck to in-house product.
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