Micato India Expert Wins Coveted Spot on Travel+Leisure A-ListAugust 7, 2018
Travel + Leisure editors have spoken: Our beloved Marion Miller, India specialist extraordinaire, has made the ultra-selective A-List, the magazine’s roster of the 140 best destination experts in the world.
Marion’s well-deserved honour means the world to our entire Micato India team, who works tirelessly to ensure our travellers have the highest-caliber experience every step of the way.
Why the A-List Is A Big Deal
For their 17th annual list, Travel+Leisure combed through hundreds of applications, as they have in past years, to compile what they describe as a “highly selective list.” But why is it such a big deal? Also in their words, “the recognition of being named to the A-List is a testament to an agent’s dedication to excellence, their expertise with a specific destination or interest, and the fact that they deliver the highest caliber experiences for clients from start to finish. Only the very best agents in the travel industry are considered.”
The magazine goes on to say that A-List winners “are the tried and true experts who have tailored perfect itineraries for clients, have logged years of experience, and nurture career-long relationships with all the right contacts and industry connections. They can open doors to deliver customized experiences that fulfill travel bucket lists.”
Why Marion Made the List
Marion’s more than four decades in the travel industry have been almost entirely laser focused on how to operate itineraries in India, as well as Africa. Since joining Micato nearly 20 years ago, she has seen the India and Africa experience through virtually every lens, as cruise advisor, incentive planner, and safari specialist for scheduled and custom departures.
Why Marion made the A-List as an India specialist can perhaps be illustrated by something that may have been a revelation to Travel+Leisure editors but is well known to our team: Every experience in India must be a wow!
Some examples of the way Marion has wowed her clients:
- One of her clients was intrigued by India’s dabba-wallahs, who pick up prepared lunches in tiffins from workers’ homes and deliver them to their offices, so Marion arranged a “from home to office” experience for these guests, where they shadowed the dabba wallah both on foot and by bike, from pick-up to delivery. Come dinnertime, she surprised the guests with exquisite Indian delicacies neatly packed in steel tiffin boxes, a nod to the dabbawallahs they journeyed with that day.
- For clients in India during Holi—the spring festival where revelers throw colourful dye at each—Marion arranged for them to be hosted in the residential area of one of our Micato in-country staff, so they could experience the ritual with locals, complete with long white shirts so they could fully immerse themselves in the throwing of the colours. They then dined with a local family, ending the day with a private celebration of the Maharaja.
- For both first-time and veteran wellness travellers, nothing quite beats a visit to Ananda in Northern India. On several occasions Marion arranged for private meditation and detoxifying sessions with visiting masters—and for her more active clients, private outdoor personal training sessions—and recently surprised a couple with an ayurvedic cooking experience … shopping with a master chef at the local market and then cooking lessons on the preparation of the ayurvedic delicacies they enjoyed at the spa.
Marion’s Golden Rule
Does Marion have a golden rule for planning a successful India Journey or safari? We asked her, and she does. “Treat every booking like it’s meant for your own family,” she says, reminding us that “Travel+Leisure suggested that the Pintos (Micato Africa’s founders) treat guests like well loved, out of town relatives, and I guess that philosophy has always mirrored my own. You can’t imagine the pleasure and joy it brings me to speak with our guests, past, present and future, and know that I’ve had a hand in creating an experience they’ll likely never forget.”
P.S. In the months since this post first published, Marion has made the A-List for a second time and her Micato colleague Liz Wheeler is now a member, too.