Recognized By Travel Agent Magazine
What makes a top travel agent? Is it determination and drive? Knowledge about suppliers and destinations? Specialization?
We asked travel agents to tell us what makes them a top agent. Among the criteria we considered were:
• Sales volume
• Travel Specialties and Destinations
• Associations and Affiliations
• Examples of challenges they’ve overcome in the industry and dream trips they’ve put together for clients
• Endorsements from suppliers and clients
Out of well over 100 entrants, we selected those who stood out for a number of reasons—from exceptional customer service to remarkable expertise in a particular destination. The one thing they all have, however, is dedication to their craft, and a commitment to excellence. (While we had many excellent submissions, in the end we gave most serious consideration to those who complied 100 percent with the guidelines by supplying the requested endorsements from suppliers and clients.)
Malaka Hilton, Admiral Travel International
Hilton specializes in culinary travel and organizing exclusive journeys throughout the world that are escorted by iconic figures in food, wine, sports, entertainment and global culture. She has owned Admiral Travel since 1997, and founded AuthentEscapes earlier this year. Some of AuthentEscapes’ exclusive, “wow-factor” experiences include: VIP access to Andrea Bocelli’s concert in Italy and a stay at the Ferragamo family’s private villa at Il Borro; traveling with Chef Roy Yamaguchi (founder of Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine) through Japan and Australia; privileged access to the Carnival parade in Brazil on a program with Chef Jean-Georges; and a Safari in South Africa with public television’s “Simply Ming” host, Chef Ming Tsai.
Hilton also considers Egypt her destination specialty, and can even combine her passions into one trip. “My Egypt tour with Chef Roy Yamaguchi included a day with famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass; a private reception with First Lady Jehan Sadat in her home on the Nile; a rare opening of Queen Nefertari’s Tomb; a private dinner by Chef Roy at Medinat Habu Temple in Luxor and tented dinner prepared by Chef Roy on the Giza Plateau with a presentation of Il Borro wines by special guest Salvatore Ferragamo.”