“I love a challenge, and even more than that, closing a sale,” says Michelle Andersen of Admiral Travel International. “Each day is a new day and a new beginning. Each guest is different and gives me the opportunity to present ideas in a fresh way.” It’s that enthusiasm and strong spirit that’s likely led to this trendsetter’s success, which is still going strong after 30 years in the business.
Andersen was born and raised in Chicago and spent summers on the beaches of Lake Michigan where she developed her love for sun and sand. When she moved to Sarasota, FL, she became enthralled with the white-sand beaches and laid-back lifestyle. After realizing that she was hooked on travel, she decided to make it a career.
As director of the Private Client Group at Admiral Travel International, a position she’s now held for 20 years, Andersen has a refreshing approach to selling. “I have a passion for people. I love meeting them, speaking with them and learning what makes them tick,” she says. “By listening carefully and engaging in dialogue, including a thoughtful list of questions, I can begin to paint a picture for my clients, illustrating what their ideal travel experience might really look like from beginning to end.”
Andersen also says that, as a whole, Admiral Travel International’s cohesive team has an innate ability to work together in order to provide clients with the best travel experiences possible, even after several visits to a destination.
Malaka Hilton, owner of Admiral Travel, says Andersen is her top pick when she thinks “trendsetter.” Why? “Hands down, she is such a great sales person. She’s been in the business a long time but is always keeping up with the latest on how to sell,” Hilton tells us.
Andersen’s innovative style of selling travel has even trickled down to designing trips for her original clients’ family and children. She especially enjoys working to create a memorable experience to new destinations or travel adventures for return clients, as well as bucket-list stops. She is currently arranging for clients’ children and grandchildren who are booking independently with Admiral Travel. Andersen says being able to witness the growing appreciation of clients’ families for travel as they expand their cultural literacy, worldly experiences and family memories together makes her work worthwhile.
When she isn’t creating trips for others, Andersen enjoys traveling as a personal hobby. Her latest adventure took her to Turkey, where she stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel Istanbul, taking in the dazzling views of the Bosporus. Her favorite part of visiting the city? “Exploring some of the best shopping for rugs, pottery and spices ever,” she says.
Andersen is also an avid golfer, who loves spending time with her family and visiting the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.