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A-List 2009: The 129 Top Travel Agents

For an expanded version of the 2009 A-List, with over the top requests, secret finds, and dream trips from 
all 129 agents, visit travelandleisure.com.

Photo: Serge Bloch

Latin America

Our agents report that Argentina, Chile, and Peru topped clients’ wish lists. The region as a whole is remarkably diverse—Patagonian vineyards; Peruvian rain forests; endless Brazilian beaches.


Maita Barrenechea Years as agent: 26. Other specialty: Uruguay. Consulting fee: From $200.


Katie Nelson Years as agent: 7. Other specialties: Costa Rica, Guatemala. Consulting fee: Varies.


Robert Betenson Years as agent: 8. Other specialty: Family reunions. Consulting fee: $50 a day, not above $500 total.

Jerry Greenberg ** Years as agent: 37. Other specialties: Italy, France. Consulting fee: $200.

Costa Rica

Rachel Bockoven * + Years as agent: 10. Other specialty: Soft adventure. Consulting fee: Varies.


Tatiana Johnston * Years as agent: 14. Other specialty: Africa, specifically Kenya. Consulting Fee: Varies.


Marianne Braly Years as agent: 17. Other specialty: France. Consulting fee: $100.

South America

Carlos L. Fida * Years as agent: 30. Other specialty: Wine tours. Consulting fee: From $200.

Eric Sheets * Years as agent: 15. Other specialty: Small-ship cruises. Consulting fee: From $250.


Bookings in the islands are moving at a slower pace lately, which means plenty of deals for travelers right now.

Margie Hand Years as agent: 14. Other specialties: Destination weddings, luxury family vacations. Consulting fee: Varies.

Janet McLaughlin Years as agent: 21. Other specialty: Southern Africa. Consulting fee: From $150.

Susan Shevlin Years as agent: 28. Other specialty: South Pacific. Consulting fee: From $100.

Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific

Travelers to this part of the world are booking soft adventure with stays at luxe camps. And for Polynesian bliss, the new Four Seasons Bora Bora.


Catharina Apodac Years as agent: 20. Other specialty: New Zealand. Consulting fee: $150.

Cassandra Bookholder + Years as agent: 3. Other specialty: French Polynesia. Consulting fee: From $250.

Terry Coffey Years as agent: 30. Other specialty: Philippines. Consulting fee: From $200.

Suzy Mercien-Ferol + Years as agent: 16. Other specialties: Fiji, Tahiti. Consulting fee: None.

French Polynesia

Susanne Hamer Years as agent: 15. Other specialties: Australia, New Zealand. Consulting fee: $200.

Robin Turner Years as agent: 25. Other specialty: Southeast Asia. Consulting fee: Varies.

New Zealand

Donna Thomas * Years as agent: 38. Consulting fee: None.

Icon Key

* tour operator
+ New to list
** T+L’s travel agent advisory board member, 2009


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