Top Travel Agents in the West 2014

Travel + Leisure magazine’s 13th annual travel specialist A-List includes 38 top travel agents from the West By: Natalie Chudnovsky
Travel + Leisure honors this year’s top travel agents, including 38 from the West. // © 2014 Thinkstock
Travel + Leisure honors this year’s top travel agents, including 38 from the West. // © 2014 Thinkstock

The Details

Travel + Leisure

Once again, Travel + Leisure has published its list of top travel agents. Out of 133 advisors on the magazine’s 13th annual “A-List of Top Travel Specialists,” 38 are based in the West. Here are the agents that made this year’s list, organized by their area of expertise.

Jim Strong and Nancy Strong (Strong Travel Services, Dallas) 

United States and California
Hawaii – Carolyne Brandon (Altour American Express Travel, Cupertino, Calif.)
Hawaii – Marilyn Clark (Lighthouse Travel, Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Hawaii – Ed Phillips (Frosch Travel, Burlingame, Calif.)
Napa Valley – Michelle Murre (Azurine, San Francisco) 

France – Murielle Blanchard (Black Pearl Luxury Services, Salt Lake City)
Switzerland – Ilene Koenig (Let’s Travel, a division of Plaza Travel, Santa Monica, Calif.) 

Mexico, Central and South America
Galapagos – Brian Morgan (Adventure Life, Missoula, Mont.) 

Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific
Australia – Cassandra Bookholder (Camelback Odyssey Travel, Phoenix)
French Polynesia – Susanne Hamer (TravelStore, Los Angeles)

Burma – Rebecca Mazzaro (Asia Transpacific Journeys, Boulder, Colo.)
China – Stan Godwyn (TravelStore, Sacramento, Calif.)
Hong Kong – Laura Woo (West University Travel, Houston)
Indonesia – Jarrod Hobson (Asia Transpacific Journeys, Boulder, Colo.)
Japan – Noriko Townsend (Altour American Express Travel/Japan In Style, Fort Collins, Colo.)
Maldives – Justin Parkinson (Linara Travel, Eagle, Idaho) 

Africa and the Middle East
Africa – Sandy Cunningham (Outside Go, Santa Fe, N.M.)
Africa – Dana Welch (The Travel Society, Denver.)
Eastern and Southern Africa – Tim Lapage (Safari Experts, Park City, Utah)
Eastern and Southern Africa – Kent Redding (Africa Adventure Consultants, Denver)
Family Safaris – Leora Rothschild (Rothschild Safaris, Denver.)
Namibia – Chris Liebenberg (Piper & Heath Travel, San Diego)
South Africa – Tamsyn Fricker (Travel Artistry Africa, Houston)
Southern Africa – Cherri Briggs (Explore Inc., Steamboat Springs, Colo.)
Southern Africa – Teresa Sullivan (Mango African Safaris, Portland, Ore.)

Family Travel
Sam McClure (Small World Travel, Austin, Texas)
Kara Slater (SmartFlyer, Los Angeles 

Small and Large Ships – Paul Niskanen (Cruise Masters/Concierge Travel Advisors, Portland, Ore.)
Small and Large Ships – Ruth Turpin (Cruises Etc., Fort Worth, Texas) 

Special Interest
Adventure – Susan Sparks (Points of Interest Travel, Aspen, Colo.)
Adventure – Doris White (Cadence Travel, La Jolla, Calif.)
Business Travel – Steve Orens (Plaza Travel, Encino, Calif.)
Culture/Education – Margery Hunter (Rudi Steele Travel, Dallas)
Destination Celebrations – John Clifford (International Travel Management, San Diego)
Fly-Fishing – Betsy Donley (Camelback Odyssey Travel, Phoenix)
Food and Wine – Lynda Turley Garrett (Alpine Travel of Saratoga, Saratoga, Calif.)
Gay and Lesbian Travel – David Rubin (DavidTravel, Corona del Mar, Calif.)
Spas and Wellness – Karen Benson (Camelback Odyssey Travel, Phoenix.)