Mystery Shopper: Family beach holiday to Bulgaria

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Location: Huddersfield
Wanted: A family with two children would like a week-long beach holiday in Bulgaria and are interested in hearing about options other than Sunny Beach.
Budget: £3,000.

The Co-operative Travel, 10 Cross Church Street

I was welcomed immediately into a clean store by a warm and chatty agent. She concentrated on the children and recommended a hotel with plenty of entertainment for them, close to the beach and near the shops. The agent suggested the Sunny Beach resort, citing its popularity and good reviews.

I did ask about other options but she didn’t offer any. The suggested stay at the Marvel Hotel cost £2,196 with Airtours. The agent asked lots of questions and I felt I could trust her advice – the experience was seamless. I took away a brochure and was sent an email with details of the holiday recommended. I was encouraged to call back when I had spoken to my partner.

Wallace Arnold Travel, 36 John William Street

The agent in this store was immediately engaging and recommended two hotels, both in Sunny Beach. They offered plenty to do, including entertainment for kids, and the agent showed me reviews. A stay at the Laguna Park Hotel with Balkan Holidays was priced at £2,616.

The agent gave me the information and encouraged me to call her if I wanted to book. The service was let down by the slow running of the agency’s computers.

Althams Travel, 26 Cross Church Street

The agent seemed genuinely interested about my holiday and took her time to ask lots of questions. She recommended three options but all were in Sunny Beach. One recommendation was for a £2,426 holiday with Airtours, staying at the family-friendly Wela Hotel in an interconnecting room.

I was given a list of prices and the agent’s details, but was not offered a follow-up. I was disappointed not to be shown a brochure.

All of the agents sourced good options in Sunny Beach but none were able to recommend anywhere off the beaten track as requested.

Winning agent
Bev Bates, Travel advisor

I’ve worked for The Co-operative Travel for 10 years, based in the Huddersfield store. I’ve been a travel consultant for the last three years, having spent my first seven in foreign exchange.

I love looking after customers and getting to know them so that I can find them an amazing holiday. Asking the right questions and really listening to make sure they get what is right for them is very important to me.”

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