Travel 100 Group
Randi Closson reports that she has sailed on 90 percent of the cruise lines in the industry since her first voyage on Celebrity Cruises’ Horizon many years ago.
About 75 percent of Closson’s business is cruise-based, and she is constantly on the hunt to learn about new cruise ship features and to keep up with the ever-changing travel industry.
“I also build relationships with my clients, so I am familiar with their likes and dislikes,” says Closson. “I feel that’s why many of my clients have stayed with me for 20 years and have given me many referrals. Also, I believe honesty is the best policy.”
That honesty and dedication have paid off. Since joining the Travel 100 Group, Closson has been steadily building her sales, especially in the luxury segment. She is also generous in sharing her cruise knowledge with the 20 advisors and numerous independent agents in the Chicago-based travel agency.
Closson is working to keep her destination knowledge current, too. This past January she attended the Mid-Atlantic Trade Show in Iceland, which gave her the opportunity to see part of the country and inspect several major hotels. Next, she’s headed to Egypt and Istanbul, two countries she hasn’t had a chance to explore yet.
“Every year, I try to go places I have never been so I can learn about different destinations,” Closson says.
Closson’s love of travel stems from a leave of absence she took from her first job as a clerk for AC Neilson Company when she was 21 years old. Along with a busload of other 21-year-old girls, she spent eight weeks traveling Europe.
It was on the Horizon, however, that she really fell in love.
“It was the best vacation we ever had,” Closson says of the cruise she took with her husband, Greg, and nine-year-old son, Eric, to the Southern Caribbean. “Every night at dinner, Eric’s chocolate milk was waiting for him at the dinner table. He was a happy boy! When we disembarked the ship in San Juan, I thought to myself, that if I could do anything in the cruise industry, that would be my dream job.”
Closson got her opportunity a few months later when she purchased a Cruise Holidays franchise and, after that, opened her own travel agency. Since then, she has sailed on 75 ships and received a Master Cruise Counselor designation and CTA certification. In 1999, she changed her agency’s name to Lincolnshire Cruises and Tours and, in 2003, she joined the Signature Travel Network. In 2011, she joined Travel 100 Group. For every step of the way, Closson’s clients have followed her — a testament to their loyalty.
Looking ahead, Closson is going to continue focusing on growing her business by asking for referrals and upgrading clients to luxury products. To relax, she will keep indulging in her other love: mysteries. Stuart Woods and James Patterson are two of her favorite authors.