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p48-49 mystery shopper dec5 1/12/08 14:49 Page 49
mystery shopper knowledge
This week’s contenders: high street v internet
Ilkeston Co-op Midlands Co-op Responsible Travel Hayes & Jarvis
10 Market Place 72 Market Street
I was greeted The service in The website The website
immediately and Midlands Co-op offered tailor- mentioned
the agent asked was also excel- made holidays, savings of 10%
lots of questions lent, and the and had lots of for booking
to work out agent found us a reviews to read, but there online, which caught our
exactly what we were looking suitable deal straight away. weren’t many questions to attention, and when we logged
for, which impressed me. We The 14-night itinerary answer in order to narrow on it was easy to use with
were also asked if we’d prefer included the same destinations down your search, and when bright pictures of the places
a guided or independent trip. as offered in Ilkeston Co-op, we did, only six results came we wanted to visit. However,
The consultant offered a and the price was slightly back. On closer inspection, the when I tried to use the general
14-night trip taking in Beijing, better at £3,344. What really majority of those didn’t cover search tool, it didn’t seem to
Xian, Guilin, Shanghai and impressed me was that the what I wanted to see either. have any holidays available.
Hong Kong, staying in four- agent had visited Hong Kong In order to have proceeded, Instead, I clicked on the button
star properties, for £3,520. themselves, and seemed very it was necessary to send for tours, and found a range of
Car hire was also mentioned, knowledgeable overall. We an email asking for more options. We also saw we could
and they suggested they may discussed the need for visas, information. We were not combine with Hong Kong,
be able to offer a discount on and were given our itinerary inspired or sure that we which fitted our requirements
booking. to look over. would find what we wanted. but would be an extra cost.
✔First impressions ✔First impressions ✔First impressions ✔First impressions
✔Sales process ✔Sales process ✘ Sales process ✘ Sales process
✔Product match ✔Product match ✘ Product match ✔Product match
✔Incentive to book ✔Incentive to book ✘ Incentive to book ✘ Incentive to book
This week’s winner: Midlands Co-op
The two websites initially worked well, but didn’t
have much to offer and became complicated as we
tried to narrow our search down. Both the agents in the shops were
attentive and enthusiastic, and I would have been happy to book with week
either, but I would have chosen Midlands Co-op as the agent seemed
Assistant manager knowledgeable. She offered a 14-night Kuoni tour, visiting Beijing, Xian,
Julia Taylor managed
to impress the
Guilin, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The package was priced at £3,344
mystery shopper
including transfers, with flights departing Heathrow on March 9, 2009
Mystery Shopper
with her knowledge
and staying in various hotels with bed and breakfast.
goes to Yorkshire
Seal the deal with these tips from Training for Travel
Take a walk on the quiet side: For the foodies: With your Village life: In Hong Kong, visit Be vigilant: While Beijing is
The Great Wall is crowded with more adventurous clients, Ngong Ping, with its tea house considered one of the safer group ltd
tourists so take a taxi to Jinshan- suggest they take a trip to the and Walking with Buddha attrac- destinations, be careful not to let
For more training tips
ling then, walk to Simatai along Dong Hua Men Night Market in tions. Take the 25-minute cable your guard down in tourist spots
and courses, go to
the wall. Locals will take you for Beijing to sample fried silkworm, car across the bay from Tung such as the Great Wall, where or
about £5. snake or even seahorse. Chung. Prices average £15. pick pockets have been reported.
05.12.2008 49
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