Andrea Grisdale

Owner IC Bellagio | Travel Industry Veteran | Public Speaker | Animal Lover | CEO and founder of IC Bellagio | Mentor | Regional Member of the WTTC |

I literally have the best job in the world! My team and I spend our days designing bespoke itineraries for discerning travelers to Italy. We put a lot of energy, passion and legwork into sourcing and test-driving unique, nonGoogleable experiences across the country, always looking for new ways to give travelers Italy at its most authentic. (I told you it was the world’s best job!)

My Entrepreneurial journey started back in 1994 – the same year my son as born – when I hung up my various uniforms that I had proudly worn over the years working for a British Tour Operator as an Overseas Representative. As my clientele grew – so did the opportunity to operate way beyond the borders of Lake Como and from the day I started my company back in 1999, my vision for IC Bellagio was clear: to become a leading boutique destination management company that is not only the best company to travel with, but also the best company to work with. I started looking for like-minded professionals to help me achieve my goal and ended up creating a real community of people and companies that share our core values: We care. We are a community. We do the right thing. We continuously improve. We create opportunity. And this is still the basis for every single professional relationship I have, whether you are a member of my team, a client from the travel advisor community or one of our preferred partners across Italy. 

Like all Entrepreneurs, my journey was not always easy – Looking back over the years I truly believe that climbing Everest could only be possibly equal to all the challenges I faced and come out the other side still passionate about Travel and all the opportunities it brings.  EO for me, was a huge turning point, not only do I get so much from my Italian and International Forums but also their Entrepreneur Masters’ Program was literally life changing and considering my life long quest for continuous improvement and learning – it had my name written all over it.    Whilst it has been my great honor to receive awards and accolades for this work within the travel industry, but the real reward is seeing the transformational power of travel, not only for the travelers, but also for the destination communities, where employment and opportunity can in some cases literally be life-changing. 

That is why I am so passionate about working with up-and-coming travel professionals and fellow DMCs in my mentoring work and my engagements with universities. And as Italy’s first regional member of the World Travel & Tourism Council, I am delighted to help advance the global debate on such vital issues as overcrowding, regenerative travel as well as the inclusive sustainable growth of the industry.