California was dream ticket for travel shop
SUE Cobley has been 40 years in the travel business, the last 25 of which she has run the company she founded, Sketty Travel.
So what better time to receive a plaudit from a respected player in the industry?
When someone from Travel Weekly magazine popped into the Gower Road office in Swansea posing as a mystery shopper, Sue went through her routine not knowing she was being tested.
"I have travelled extensively — extensive travel equals extensive knowledge worldwide," is her company calling card.
Sue has a particular love of America and the challenge set her by the mystery shopper was to find a 10-day trip to San Diego, California, for a couple and their 10-year-old child. Family accommodation, flights and car hire were the priorities, with a couple of nights in Los Angeles a possibility. The budget was £4,000.
Three Swansea travel agents were in competition and Sketty Travel came out on top for being friendly and enthusiastic with great destination knowledge.
"Their attention to detail and knowledge made this agency the one for me," said the mystery shopper.
Sue, who received a certificate, said: "We get Travel Weekly and I know about the Mystery Shopper. I always read it, but we have never been in it.
"The woman who came in was so believable. She had an English accent and I said we don't hear too many of them. She had perfected her story, she was going to pick up her child from school afterwards.
"I was delighted that they were so pleased with the service. It really does help that you have been recognised by them. I can speak from experience with America.
"I travel to the US every year and know it really well. I really enjoy selling somewhere that I have experienced because it gives you so much knowledge."