Falkirk travel agents were this month targeted by two local couples acting on behalf of leading UK travel industry publication Travel Weekly.
The un-named pair had a notional budget of £1,800 and were shopping for a summer cruise in the Caribbean, but were to say they weren’t sure which line suited them best - or whether to go all-inclusive.
Barrhead Travel in Falkirk High Street was the winner, and so was senior sales consultant Joanne, who will be handed the keys of a ritzy car for ten days.
None of the outlets tested performed badly, although the couple involved had a few relatively minor criticisms, but Barrhead Travel’s staff, and Joanne’s expertise, were the decider - the branch scored 98 per cent on a points basis.
One of the mystery shoppers told Travel Weekly: “She (Joanne) had good cruise knowledge and made excellent recommendations.
“I was offered a seven-night Cuba and Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ ship, Norwegian Sun, with three nights at the Marriott Biscayne Bay in Miami, our departure port, flying from Edinburgh, via London, on September 6.
“The cost was £1,750 per person on a Premium All-Inclusive basis, with an option to upgrade to balcony cabins for £1,975”.
Joanne said: “We tend to package up cruises and I’ve been on NCL’s ship Jade before so I know the product well.
“I was so sure they were going to book, and I’ve got someone else looking at that package now.”
She is a previous winner of Barrhead Travel’s top agent award, and besides advising customers has in the past helped Falkirk’s Tryst Theatre with one of their productions - “Travels with my Aunt”.