Who is this week's top travel agent?

Who is this week's top travel agent?
By admin


WANTED: A family holiday to California

WHERE: Narre Warren, Victoria

Mystery Shopper, his wife and two kids want to take a 10-day holiday to California to visit Disneyland. They wish to stay in at least four-star accommodation in Anaheim and are interested in hiring a car to see more of the state – such as a few nights at the Yosemite National Park. The budget is $11,000 in total.

TOP AGENT: Louise Minett: 82%
Flight Centre, Westfield Fountain Gate, Narre Warren, Vic

Louise greeted me soon after I entered the agency and offered me assistance. I told her that I was after some information about a California holiday. Louise asked my name and when I was planning on going. This was followed by other questions to gain a better understanding of my requirements. Travelling in February or March was agreed on as the cheapest time to visit. She then asked what my plans were and I explained that Disneyland was a must and that we wanted to see a bit more of California, including Yosemite. We discussed the logistics of how many days to spend where and in which order to visit certain places. She asked if I wanted to stay in Los Angeles or near Disneyland and I expressed an interest in being close to Disneyland. We discussed and agreed on the type of hotel we wanted to stay in. Louise suggested we stay in Anaheim a few nights then drive to Yosemite for a night and then come back to Los Angeles. I said that we would probably need a few nights in Yosemite, to which Louise then agreed. We traced out the journey on a map then discussed hire car options. She then brought over an Infinity Holidays USA brochure and showed me some of the attractions and tours around Los Angeles to consider, such as Universal Studios. Louise then suggested we look at flights and started narrowing down dates to get the best deals. After a short search, she came up with some great priced flights with V Australia and told me that they were too good a deal to go past. Louise then began preparing a detailed quote which we went through together. It was suggested she email me the complete quote when ready, which she did. I received a follow up email a few days later to see if there was any more information I required. This was a comprehensive consultation.

How long have you worked as a travel agent?

Almost two years.

What's your favourite destination to sell and why?

The Maldives.

If you could book yourself a holiday right now (money is no object) where would it be and why?

Most likely the US, as it has so much to offer and is such a big place.

What destination do you sell the most of?

We tend to sell a lot of Thailand, Bali, Fiji and the US.

What was the last famil you went on?

It was a trip to the Maldives. I stayed at four different hotels and each one was amazing.

What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you while travelling?

Getting lost at the World's Fair in Shanghai in 2010.

Which four famous people (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party?

That's a tough one! If I had to pick, I would say Ne-Yo and Gwen Stefani as I love their music. I honestly can't think of anyone else. (Only two? Scientists estimate 106 billion people have lived throughout human history! Ed.)

Who is your dream travel partner?

I would really love to travel the world with my sister. She has never been overseas before.

What is the strangest place you have ever travelled to?

China. It was my first holiday in an Asian destination and I found the customs very confronting at first.

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

Something that would allow me to listen to music.

2ND PLACE: Escape Travel, Westfield Fountain Gate, Narre Warren, Vic: 70%

I was offered assistance shortly after entering the agency. I made my inquiry and the agent asked me a series of questions about my plans. I said that Disneyland and Yosemite were must-see spots but we were open to other suggestions. After asking about prices, the agent checked flights, suggesting we fly in February or March as the prices were a thousand dollars cheaper per ticket than in December. I mentioned that we were looking for at least a four-star hotel and wanted to be near Disneyland. The Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort was suggested as it had a family room. We then browsed through the Infinity Holidays USA brochure and I ultimately opted for the Crowne Hotel. I asked if Yosemite was a day trip and the agent explained it wasn't, but they did say we'd be able to find somewhere nearby to stay. The agent also suggested an overnight stay in Los Angeles with a visit to Universal Studios. The agent suggested that we probably shouldn't get a car for the full time away as we wouldn't need it while at Disneyland. An extensive quote was prepared and we went through it together. I was invited to come back when I was ready to book.

3RD PLACE: Harvey World Travel, Westfield Fountain Gate, Narre Warren, Vic: 61%

When an agent became free I was greeted and offered assistance. I explained that I was after information about a California holiday and was given a Harvey World Travel USA brochure to look through. I asked if they could give me an idea about flights and accommodation. Checking the computer, they told me that Virgin generally had the best fares direct from Melbourne. I asked if they could put a quote together with pricing so that I could see what our holiday would cost, and I was told they would email it to me later. I mentioned that I wanted to see Disneyland and a bit more of the state, such as Yosemite National Park. Even though I mentioned that I was interested in four-star accommodation, they recommended the Howard Johnson hotel, which was only a three-star property. The agent said that we would need to book well in advance to stay at Yosemite as they only let in a certain number of visitors each day. We then discussed hire cars and sightseeing. I left with a business card stapled to the brochure and received a quote the following day.

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

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