Surprising news for luxury travelers to Europe today: Judith Baer of JDB Fine Hotels & Resorts sent out a memo to travel advisors that after 36 years, the company will cease taking reservations. Since 1978, JDB provided marketing, sales and reservation services in the United States and Canada for luxury hotels in Italy, France, Ireland and Spain.
Her email follows:
As you may be aware, the last few years have been challenging for JDB for many reasons. While our goal was to keep up with industry trends by investing in more automated reservations systems, our current business model is not compatible with the competition in the marketplace. Because of this, I have decided to explore various new opportunities (as many of you have done with your agencies). As you all know, I am comprised of 100% sales and marketing genes!
We have decided to re-evaluate what direction JDB should take in 2015, and effective at the end of this month, we will cease taking reservations, and the booking engine will be turned off. As part of this re-evaluation, our sales team will be furloughed. The JDB website will remain online, and we will have someone available to handle any inquiries you may have.
...Phones will be open 9:00 am to 5:30 pm EST.
All current bookings with JDB for 2014 will remain in place under our contractual agreements with our hotels, and JDB will honor its current 12% commission on hotel bookings and 10% on tours and transfers.
Any 2015 bookings already made will be turned over to the hotels, and they will communicate directly with you.
The last day for any new reservations with JDB will be Friday, August 29, 2014.
Please be assured that ALL commissions will be paid. Yes, we have fallen behind in what had previously been for JDB the timely payment of commissions. And while I apologize that they are late, we are organizing funding to pay them as soon as we can.
I cannot thank all of you enough for your strong support over these many years (some agents have known me since I began in hotels 36 years ago!). Many of you have become close friends, and I am sure our paths will cross again in the future. You all know I have far too much energy to stay at home!
Best regards to you all,
Judith D. Baer
JDB Fine Hotels & Resorts