Mystery Shopper: Phillip, ACT

Mystery Shopper: Phillip, ACT
By admin


WANTED: A HOLIDAY TO ITALY

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Mystery Shopper and her partner would like to visit Italy for two weeks. They wish to travel independently and are interested in car hire and other transport options. They would like to see most of the country, particularly major cities and highlights such as the Amalfi Coast. They are happy to stay in three to four-star accommodation in major cities. Their budget is $10,000 in total.

TOP AGENT: Sophia Le Good, Escape Travel, Woden Plaza, Phillip, ACT

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Entering the agency, I was immediately greeted and invited to take a seat. Sophia introduced herself before asking my name and offering her assistance. I explained that I wanted information about a holiday to Italy. Sophia asked many questions to get a full understanding of my requirements, while continually taking notes. At one point she retrieved and handed me Explore Holidays Italy and France and CIT Italy brochures. I was asked if I wanted to travel to northern Italy, to which I replied that I was more interested in seeing the south of the country. Sophia told me about the many famous sites I could take in, including Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, Isle of Capri and, of course, Rome. I explained that my preference was to drive rather than be part of a package tour. Sophia mapped out a route I could take while providing commentary about all the major cities and points of interest along the way. She was very thorough, going through car hire options and we finally settled on a VW Passat as the best option. After establishing that Qantas or British Airways offered the best flight deals, I was asked about my accommodation preferences. Sophia then made a phone call to the wholesaler to firm up options and prices, while at the same time chatting with me about the planned trip. Everything was covered and I Ieft the agency with a detailed travel plan, later receiving a follow up email. The service I received from Sophia was friendly, detailed and enthusiastic.

QUESTIONNAIRE

How long have you worked as a travel agent ? Nine months.

How long have you worked at your present agency? Five months.

What's your favourite destination to sell and why? The UK and Europe. They are so beautiful and historic. London is the greatest city in the world.

If you could book yourself a holiday right now, where would you go and why? I've always dreamed of travelling around Africa. I want to experience the animals, the people, Mt Kilimanjaro and the beaches of Zanzibar.

What destination do you sell the most of? Fiji. It's definitely a favourite for families.

What was the last famil you went on? In November I went on a 13-night cruise to New Zealand with Princess Cruises. I was even able to take my mum.

What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you while travelling? I had an awkward moment at Heathrow airport last year. Immigration didn't want to let me into the country because they thought I'd visited too many times and might never leave.

Which four famous people (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party? I'd invite Bob Marley, Nelson Mandela, JK Rowling and Will Ferrell.

Who is your dream travel partner? My boyfriend (I think I have to say that).

What is the strangest place you have ever travelled to? The Red Zao hill tribe villages in northern Vietnam. It's a completely foreign culture, but so welcoming.

If you were stranded on a desert island and only allowed one item, what would it be? My dog, Monty.

SECOND PLACE: 84% Flight Centre, Woden Plaza, Phillip, ACT

Upon entry I was invited to take a seat to wait for a few minutes until someone became free. Shortly afterwards an agent greeted me and asked how they could assist. I explained that I was after information for a trip to Italy. The agent said that it was their favourite place to visit and couldn't wait to return, and listed off some places they recommended. After a formal introduction, they asked a few more questions and determined that I wanted to drive around rather than take a package tour. It was also established that I wanted to see Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast. At that point they retrieved an Explore Holidays Italy and France brochure, which provided some great ideas for places worth driving to. Different car hire options were discussed and it was decided that flying Emirates would best suit my plans. When asked about accommodation preferences I explained that I was after three-star properties or above. It was suggested I get back to them with my accommodation choices and I left with quotes for car hire and flight information. I received a follow up call subsequently. This was a competent consultation

THIRD PLACE: 57% Harvey World Travel, Woden Plaza, Phillip, ACT

After entering the store I was immediately greeted. The agent introduced themselves and then asked me a few questions about where I wished to go and when I wanted to travel. They then grabbed a Tempo Holidays Italy and Central Europe brochure and handed it to me to peruse while asking if there were any areas in particular I wanted to visit. I indicated that we were keen to visit the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii. I was then asked if I wanted an escorted tour, to which I replied that we wanted to drive ourselves. The agent then handed me a DriveAway Holidays Car and Motorhome rentals brochure which we flicked through together, discussing which car would best suit our needs. The agent pointed out that an international driver's licence would be needed. Insurance options were also discussed before the agent suggested I go home and choose accommodation options and return to discuss them. I was handed a quote for the flights and was told they would see me in a few days to book the holiday. No follow up call was received.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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