When We asked Cheryl Richardson what sets her apart from industry competition, she says it is much more than just her passion for travel.
“After being a travel advisor for 30 years, I have made contacts around the world, and I am never ashamed to reach out to those contacts to do something really special for my people,” says Richardson. “Being with Signature and Travel Leaders has given me even more access to contacts at hotels, cruise lines, tour operators and DMCs. Each booking that is made, I reach out to those contacts to alert them of my client’s booking and to make certain a ‘love note’ and small gift from me is delivered to them upon arrival.”
Richardson brings in an annual revenue of $2 million working as a travel advisor at Travel 100 Group in Northbrook, IL. She believes her owner and manager selected her as a Trendsetter because she is a good producer of travel and has a knack for booking luxury trips. She is always on the edge of upcoming top destinations and treating her clients to the best of the best, noting that after the amount of travel she has personally accomplished she now visits unusual and upcoming destinations.
Although she sells several types of travel, from honeymoons to adventure seeking, Richardson’s favorite clients are those that are looking to view wildlife in their natural habitat, as she is a self-proclaimed animal lover. She also excels in providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences and making certain everything runs smoothly for her clients.
“Even if clients are on a European vacation through three or four cities, they will receive a little card and maybe a bottle of wine, a platter of chocolates, a plate of cookies, or a small gift made locally, from me, welcoming them to that hotel and city,” says Richardson. “It just shows I am thinking of them while they are traveling the world. And because we are a Signature agency, there are numerous hotels that will provide complimentary breakfast, a $100 food and beverage credit, a spa credit, an upgrade and many additional perks for the same price they would pay online booking themselves. It really is a no-brainer to book through me and get these additional goodies at no additional charge.”
In her personal travels, Richardson’s next trip will be to Dubai for a few days before heading to South Africa to celebrate her husband’s 60th birthday. “We are staying at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai and Royal Portfolio Hotels in South Africa,” she says. “[One of] my favorite two hotels is the Four Seasons Serengeti (where I swear I would take any job just to be there every day) because it was a wildlife lover’s paradise as the infinity pool overlooked the watering hole, which made it almost not necessary to safari as the animals all came to you.” Her other favorite hotel is Maia in the Seychelles, where she praises the villas and excellent service.
Richardson also notes her favorite tour operator is Natural Habitat Adventures, which handles all travel for the World Wildlife Fund. “We did the Polar Bear Safari in Churchill, Canada with them, and my heart has never been the same,” she says.