Travel Weekly’s Mystery Shopper calls on travel agents across the UK each week to check presentation, attitude and service.
Travel Weekly’s Mystery Shopper in association with Gazetteers.com.
|THE TARGET ?||WANTED ?|
|Online travel agencies||A ski holiday at Easter for a family with two children, aged 10 and 14|
Internal/external appearance (25%)
Please note, no additional information will be given about Mystery Shopper’s visits.
This site was quick and easy to use to book a flight or a hotel, but not a ski package.
The site was clear and the tabs on the top of the homepage made it easy to get to the ski section.
I found the Expedia site confusing at first. I missed the ski section and went straight to Easter breaks. Finding nothing there, I went back to the homepage and found the ski product, which was much better.
Lastminute.com was clear and easy to use. The snow and ski section was obvious on the homepage and was easy to navigate. There weren’t too many adverts either, so I could concentrate on booking without being distracted.
|TOP FIVE TIPS|
Tip 1:Remember the weather – it’s what skiers live by. The snow in Europe has been disastrous this season – it arrived very late, which was great news for the US and Canada. North America has had bucketloads of the white stuff – and a few more Brits because of it. Look out for weather reports and be sure to know where the snow is.
Tip 2:Not everyone skis – check out the alternative activities in resort. Look for swimming pools, ice rinks, pre-bookable tours such as husky dog sledding and sleigh rides.
Tip 3:Kit them out – most skiers hire their equipment in resort. Check your operator offers this as a pre-bookable extra – it could mean more commission for you.
Tip 4:Match the catch – ski resorts differ wildly – some are pretty and traditional, some modern and functional. Find out what your client wants, and search out as much information on the resort as possible.
Tip 5:Be accommodating – ski resorts offer a huge choice of places to stay – self catering chalets, catered chalets, hotels, apartments. Find out
As part of our technology special issue, Mystery Shopper looked online for the best service and deals.
The sites varied in their offerings: one didn’t even have a ski section and on the others you had to traipse through pages and sections to pull your holiday together.
But the overriding discovery was that the majority do not have resort overviews, something that needs addressing.
The winner excelled with overviews, links to relevant sites and local information. However, pre-booking equipment had to be done separately.
Gazetteers.com, from DG& G Travel Information gives you a single website that means you need never fear being mystery shopped again! Gazetteers.com combines all our unique and unbiased data – destination/resort guides, hotel reviews, tour operator details, passport and visa – and sorts it the way you want it. With superb search functionality and additional hi-tech features such as online brochures, photos and interactive maps, you’ll find it hard to believe that travel agents ever managed without it. Gazetteers.comprovides agents with all the product knowledge you need to meet and exceed customer expectations. Log on at Gazetteers.com.
To view more Mystery Shopper articles click here
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