The Top Travel Specialists in the West

Conde Nast Traveler lists the world’s top travel agents for 2009

By: By Naomi Kahlon

Conde Nast Traveler, August 2009 // (c) Conde Nast

 Conde Nast Traveler, August 2009 Issue

This year, Conde Nast Traveler’s (CNT) annual list of the top 126 travel specialists included 40 agents from the 14 western U.S. states of TravelAge West’s readership. Each agent went through a rigorous screening process in order to make the cut. CNT’s consumer news editor Wendy Perrin determined this year’s list by analyzing each agent’s specialized knowledge based on firsthand travel experience, local connections, user friendliness and value prices. The following is a list of CNT’s top travel specialists in the West for 2009.

Bruce B. Sawyer, Touch the Southwest Tours, Flagstaff (The Southwest)

James R. Berkeley, Destinations & Adventures International, Beverly Hills (Egypt, Israel and Jordan)
Betty Cox, Travel Concepts, Fountain Valley (Hawaii)
Mary Crowley, Ocean Voyages, Sausalito (Yacht Charters: Worldwide)
Diane Embree, Michael’s Travel Centre, Westlake Village (Bali)
Leslie Fambrini, Personalized Travel Consultants, Los Altos (Small Luxury Ships)
Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S., Angels Camp (River Rafting)
Kleon Howe, The Art of Travel, San Diego (French Polynesia and Cook Islands)
Robin Kanno, Landmark Travel, Orinda (Hawaii)
Clark Kotula, Geographic Expeditions, San Francisco (Colombia, Ecuador and Peru)
Howard E. Lewis, Protravel International, Beverly Hills (France)
Larry Martin, Food & Wine Trails, Santa Rosa (Wine Programs)
Kay Merrill, Are We There Yet? Family Adventures, Larkspur (Family Travel: With Older Children)
Brent Olson, Geographic Expeditions, San Francisco (Bhutan)
Mary Pyle Peters, Distinctive Journeys, Blairsden (Canada)
Jackie Richmond, Wine Country Concierge, Napa (Northern California Wine Country)
Monique Rodriguez, Cortez Travel & Expeditions, Solana Beach (Madagascar)
Andrea Ross, Journeys Within Tour Company, Truckee (Cambodia, Laos and Thailand)
Sanjay Saxena, Destination Himalaya, Novato (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tibet)
Susan D. Tanzman, Martin’s Travel & Tours, Los Angeles (Hawaii)
Lynette Wilson, Destination World, Hermosa Beach (Australia and Fiji)

Meg Austin, The Travel Society, Denver (Scuba Diving)
Cherri Briggs, Explore, Steamboat Springs (Safaris: Southern Africa)
Nancy Craft, Esprit Travel & Tours, Telluride (Japan)
Tom Damon, Southwind Adventures, Littleton (Ecuador, Patagonia and Peru)
Jana Emery,, Aspen (Skiing and Snowboarding: North and South America)
Joyce Falcone, The Italian Concierge, Aspen (Italy: Walking Tours)
Harmina Mulder, The Travel Society, Denver (Belgium and the Netherlands)

Lindsey Wallace, Linara Travel, Eagle (Maldives, United Arab Emirates and Oman)

Richard Edwards,, Billings (Costa Rica)
Caroline Wood, Brownell, Bozeman (Rocky Mountains)

Sylvia and Ted Blishak, Train Travel Consulting at Accent on Travel USA, Klamath Falls (Rail Travel in North America)
Chuck and Lynn Cross, Polar Cruises, Bend (Cruises: Antarctica and the Arctic)
Paul Niskanen, Cruise Masters, Portland (Cruises: Asia and the Baltic Sea)

Tom Baker, CruiseCenter, Houtson (Large Affordable Ships)
Leigh Ann Cloutier, Rico Tours, Austin (Costa Rica)
Ben Gritzewsky, Frosch Travel, Houston (Mexico)
Dorothea Rasser, SkiEurope/ Alpine Adventures, Houston (Skiing: Europe)

Sheri Doyle, Pacific Northwest Journeys, Seattle (Pacific Northwest)
Janet Lanterman, Cruise Specialists, Seattle (World Cruises)
Rita Zawaideh, Caravan-Serai, Seattle (Jordan, Lebanon and Syria)