Mystery Shopper: Sightseeing in Sicily

Location: Nottingham
Wanted: A couple would like to go to Sicily in Italy for five nights in October and hire a car to do a bit of sightseeing.
Budget: £2,000

44 Bridlesmith Gate

As soon as I entered the store an agent stood up to greet me. I was offered a coffee and felt very relaxed as we discussed my plans and preferences. The agent knew Sicily and had lots of advice on what to see and do, using Google Earth to give me an idea of where things were. She said she would send a quote and we exchanged details. I was given two recommendations with Kuoni. The cheapest quote was five nights at the Villa Diodoro for £2,048, including private transfers, but not car hire. The recommendation was slightly over budget and I was not offered insurance or tours. However, I was so impressed that I intend to take this holiday myself.

20 Long Row

An agent said hello as soon as I went in, but was then called away. The agent who dealt with my enquiry was very enthusiastic and asked lots of questions, but unfortunately knew little about the destination. I felt pushed towards a seven-night option, instead of five – a £1,722 holiday with Thomson, also staying at the Villa Diodoro. I was asked about insurance and car hire, but I was given only a printout of the quote.

Thomas Cook
3 Long Row

I was greeted within a few minutes of entering the store by an agent who asked lots of questions. While she was very friendly, it felt like she was just going through the motions. The cheaper of the two recommendations was a £1,910 trip with Thomson Holidays, staying at the Hotel Monte Tauro for seven nights. The agent didn’t know much about the area and I was not given anything to take away or offered car hire.

Winning agent- Karen Hardy, personal travel expert

“I have worked in travel since 1995 and have worked at Kuoni for three years. I have a great passion for Italy, especially Sicily, and I felt I was able to pass on my knowledge of the destination.”


All of the agents came up with good options, but the Kuoni agent was very thorough and listened to what I wanted – five nights not seven.

Elite resorts caribbean

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 holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car 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.

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