Mystery shopper: a week in Croatia for a young family

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Location: Dorchester

Wanted: A couple with a one-year-old are looking for a week’s holiday by the coast in Croatia in May.

Budget: £2, 000

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Thomson, 5 Cornhill

I was greeted cheerfully by all of the agents and invited to sit down. The agent who looked after me was friendly and patient, even though the computer system was running slowly. I was quoted £1,201 for a half-board stay at the Komodor Hotel in Dubrovnik with Thomson. The holiday met my requirements but I felt the agent could have asked more questions, and she couldn’t find any all-inclusive options. She was knowledgeable, though, and did a lot of research. She did not push any upgrades, but said excursions could be booked through the agency. I would highly recommend this agent, but the exterior of the agency did not look particularly inviting.

Hays Travel, 26 South Street

I was acknowledged immediatelyby an enthusiastic trainee agent. She suggested a £1,506 holiday with Thomson, staying at the Hotel Albatros in Cavtat on an all-inclusive basis. The agent also said she would request a cot for the room. She did not attempt to upsell or offer additional products. As she was still being trained, her colleagues came over every now and then to see if everything was OK

Nicoll World Travel, 23 High East Street

I was greeted right away in this shop, which had a welcoming feel. I was recommended two options, the more expensive of which was a half-board holiday at the Admiral Grand Hotel in Slano, costing £1,597 with Thomson. Although the agent was competent and patient, she had trouble finding options that met my criteria – she said I would be better off switching to Majorca. The agent did not attempt to close the sale.

Winning agent: Ellie Rist, travel advisor

“I have worked at the branch for three years. Before that I worked in France for Keycamp and Eurocamp. I absolutely love being an agent – the customer service side of it is great and I enjoy building a rapport with clients.”


All the agents met the brief, but they could all have done more to offer upgrades and extras to tap into more of the budget.


Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a Mercedes SLK for 10 days!

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Any agent who is under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. The winners will be informed by Travel Weekly. The first winner will be revealed on June 2.

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