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THE LEADERBOARD Who’s the best travel seller in the UK so far this year?

Go to for profiles of former winners and to see our Mystery Shopper leaderboard.

High street v internet

Oneworld Travel Group 24 Northgate

First impressions: The store’s exterior was grubby and the interior decor seemed tired and dated. All the brochures were stored behind desks, making browsing impossible. The store appeared untidy as personal items, like wrapping paper, were left lying around. 4/10

Sales process: I was impressed with how quickly the consultant established my needs and found a holiday that met my criteria. They were friendly and asked lots of questions, but more choice and greater details would have been nice. 10/15

Product match: All my needs were met with ease and the holiday I was quoted seemed very good value for money. However, I was not given any alternatives to compare. I was handed a black-and- white print-out with resort details to take away. 14/15

Making the sale: I was not asked if I wanted to book or how soon I was looking to book, however my contact details were taken and I was provided with a business card. No offer of a follow-up call was made. 5/10

Affair Travel

First impressions: The website was high on the search results and simple to use. There were plenty of pictures and details about the destination. The site seemed modern and up-to-date, with the option of sharing pages on social media. 8/10

Sales process: There was plenty of help available, from a live chat facility to a clearly displayed contact number. I asked if I could get a better deal a different week in June, but they said no. They told me about a free car hire offer. 11/15

Product match: The website brought up several different options in Gozo, which were organised according to price and thus enabled me to find something within my budget quickly for £630. I would have liked the option to include flights and transfers. 10/15

Making the sale: The added value of free car hire would have encouraged me to book, however the consultant did not take my contact details or try to persuade me. The fact that I had to sort my own flights and transfers was also off-putting. 5/10


First impressions: The site appeared high in the search results. A number was not readily available – I eventually found it in the FAQ section. The website appeared to be very basic and not very professional. 5/10

Sales process: The website allowed me to enter plenty of different requirements but failed to deliver on a basic search. The consultant I spoke to was polite and friendly, but I had to go through an automated system to speak to them. 5/15

Product match: Only three villas were offered and these were aimed at large groups so the total price was higher than all the other quotes. The holiday suggested was over my budget at £1,433 and had no extras, other than transfers and flights. 5/15

Making the sale: The consultant gave me the opportunity to book the holiday there and then but offered no additional extras. I was left feeling this was more about closing the deal than ensuring all my needs had been met. 5/10

66% 68% 40%

This week’s winner

Name: Jenny Grayston Job title: Travel clerk Company: Althams Travel Do you get many enquiries for Gozo? Gozo is probably one that doesn’t come up as much as Malta. A lot of couples ask for Malta but only a few families. I’ve never been before, but it’s on the list! Any other trips planned this year? I’m hoping to get away with my mum because we both like city breaks. We’re keen on Barcelona. Where was your last holiday? I’ve just come back from Abu Dhabi, where my fiance works. It’s the third time I’ve been and I’ll probably be going another two times this year. There’s plenty to do there; they’ve got a Formula One racetrack, the Etihad Towers, Ferrari World, bus tours and a massive water park. It’s very family orientated.

Who gets the booking? Monarch tried to seal the deal without having honed in on all my needs. The Oneworld Travel Group staff were polite and friendly, but made no effort to close the sale. Affair Travel had a stylish website but the inability to include flights and transfers in the booking was frustrating. Althams Travel had an inviting store and Jenny really wanted to make sure that the holiday was the right one for me.


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