Cathleen Richards, 29
Gulliver’s Travels Inc.
In her first year as a Travel Curator, Cathleen Richards helped a husband and wife arrange a month-long 25th anniversary trip to Italy — with just over a month before they hoped to leave.
“It was fun but also intense,” Richards says of planning the trip. It required “quite a few meetings after work with the clients, drawing maps on whiteboards, routing and rerouting, and talking about all of the great regional Italian specialties.” The couple loved the trip — even saying a complimentary dinner at the Hotel Brufani Palace’s Michelin-starred restaurant was the best they ever had.
“They told me more than once that they were especially grateful because without me their trip would not have happened,” she adds. This year, Richards is again working with the couple; this time the kids are invited.
Regarding the title “Travel Curator,” Richards says it better reflects the ever-changing role that agents play in their clients’ lives. Today, clients have access to more information than ever before, and as a “curator,” she explains that her role is to create a “personalized trip that incorporates a choice selection of this information plus [her] own knowledge and connections around the world.” This is especially important regarding Millennials, who are more collaborative than other generations, according to Richards. “It is important that we take their opinions and outside travel recommendations into account to attract and keep them as clients,” she says.
According to Gulliver’s Travels President Paul Busang, Richards “has shown an initiative in business development through hosting and attending events to engage Millennials and other prospective clients.” He also spoke about her willingness to participate in programs such as Virtuoso’s Incubator Program, working with new industry start-ups.