by Jeff Bollig —
As a travel advisor, Colleen Campanella has traveled extensively. But truth be told, she’s really traveled even more than that.
“I live vicariously through my clients,” Campanella says. “Where they go, I go. I just love working with my clients in planning their vacations. I get so excited with the process. It’s like working a puzzle and putting all the pieces together to produce an amazing result.”
That attitude has won the St. Louis native recognition by Luxury Travel Advisor Magazine as a 2019 Trendsetter. The award is presented to those top advisors in the United States for their unique and creative methods in travel planning. A veteran of the travel industry since 1993, she has been with Acendas Travel’s sister agency — Gwin’s Travel of St. Louis, since 2005.
A big proponent of social media, Campanella believes in sharing her experiences and those of her clients to help educate others about destinations throughout the world. She has been to all continents, except Antarctica. She says her month-long trip to Scotland has been her favorite, followed closely by a vacation in Italy.
“The experience of meeting with clients is fun,” Campanella says. “I love it when their eyes fill with wonderment. But I also encourage them to get out of their comfort zone and try something different. That is where travel agents show their value. Their knowledge and expertise make the experience better and more enjoyable.”
Gwin’s Travel, which has been in St. Louis since 1979, was acquired by Kansas City-headquartered Acendas Travel in December 2019. Acendas also has an office in Minneapolis and Sioux Falls, S.D. (which operates under the name of Travel Partners).