Mystery shopper: A family holiday in Cyprus

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Location: Lincoln

Wanted: A family would like a week in Cyprus at the end of the school holidays in a fairly lively resort

Budget: £4,000

Thomas Cook, 4 Cornhill Pavement

I was welcomed almost instantly by an incredibly warm and professional agent. She listened to my needs and gave recommendations that worked really well. She suggested a £2,487 holiday, staying at the Avanti Hotel in Paphos on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Additional items such as the brand’s Flexi Book service were also discussed. I was asked lots of questions to establish what I knew about Cyprus and what kind of excursions I would be interested in. The agent was extremely knowledgeable about the areas and hotels, and confidently talked through the options. The agent was happy for me to go away and think about things. Overall this was outstanding service.

Michael Carter Travel, 77 High Street

The service in this store was friendly and helpful, but at times it seemed a bit slow. Once the interaction got under way the agent became more enthusiastic and helpful. I was given two options. One was a £2,688 Jet2holidays trip staying all-inclusive at the St Elias Resort. My details were not taken and there was no offer of a follow-up. While the agent listened carefully and did some research, she struggled to find hotels with kids’ clubs.

Imp Travel, 17 Sincil Street

The agent seemed quite standoffish at first, which made me feel awkward. I was recommended a £2,644 Jet2holdidays trip, staying at the Paphos Gardens Holiday Resort on a half-board basis. The recommendation did meet my needs, but I kept being told that it was tricky if I did not know exactly what I wanted and was advised to buy a guidebook first. No add-ons were recommended and no attempt was made to close the sale.

Winning agent: Kerri McGregor, apprentice travel sales consultant

“I have always wanted to work for Thomas Cook and am proud to be an apprentice travel sales consultant here. I learn something new from my colleagues every day and we are a great team. As I have always had a passion for travel, I cannot wait to start travelling and experiencing different cultures around the world.”


All the recommendations fitted the bill, but I felt the Thomas Cook agent went above and beyond to help.

Win Mystery Shopper and get to drive this…


The top scoring agent each month will win the use of a new Mercedes SLK for 10 days

Have you ever fancied driving a Mercedes SLK? The highest scoring agent of Mystery Shopper each month will win the use of this lovely new Mercedes SLK 250 for 10 days, courtesy of sponsor Elite Island Resorts.

Not only does it do 0 to 62mph in 6.7 seconds, the sleek £45,000 car boasts a full black leather interior, heated seats, a fabulous sound system, a full glass roof that retracts at the flick of a switch, Bluetooth connectivity and an ‘air scarf’ – a blast of hot air to keep the driver’s neck warm while driving with the roof down.

Colin Pegler, managing director of Resort Marketing International, the company that manages Elite Islands Resorts’ European office, said: “We want to reward agents. They are vital to our company and make up an enormous amount of our business – we love them.

“The agent with the highest score in Mystery Shopper each month is clearly an individual who is excelling in their job and deserving of such a prize.”

The car, which has the number plate V5 ELR in reference to Elite Island Resorts, is also fuel-efficient, with a diesel engine, which Pegler said would make it more affordable for agents to make special trips to visit friends and family as well as every day drives to the shop.

“We asked agents what they would like and they said a sexy little two-seater that is fuel-efficient, and named white as their colour of choice. We always listen to our agent friends,” added Pegler.

About the competition

The agent who wins use of the car for 10 days must be aged over 25 for insurance reasons. Any agents who are under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive stay at one of Elite Islands Resorts’ properties. The prize is non-transferable and must only be driven by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Winners will be informed by Travel Weekly. The first winner will be revealed on June 2.


Elite Island Resorts’ properties

St James’s Club & Villas, Antigua

Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Antigua

The Verandah Resort, Antigua

Jolly Beach Resort, Antigua (managed by Elite Island Resorts)

Pineapple Beach Club, Antigua

The Club Resort & Spa, Barbados

St James’s Club Morgan Bay, Saint Lucia

Palm Island Resort, Grenadines

Long Bay Beach Club, Tortola

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