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Travel agents are expected to know everything about their clients' destinations of choice. When they need help with the Caribbean Islands or Southern Europe, particularly Italy, they call Judith Davis Baer, president of JDB Fine Hotels & Resorts—the travel agents’ travel agent.

"We are Italy experts," Baer said. "We know every inch of that country."  Baer invests in her employees by sending them to Italy to gain firsthand knowledge of the country and the hotels she represents.  She is looking to repeat JDB's success in Italy by using the same strategies with Spain and France.

JDB specializes in custom, individualized travel rather the predesigned packages. "We design trips for very upscale travel agencies," Baer said.

Baer got her start in 1978 when she acted upon an offer to run a resort property in Jamaica. "I really built up a great travel agent loyalty. That allowed me to expand and grow more business."

Despite the negative impact the recession has had on tourism, Baer found ways to remain stable and adjust to trends. As cruise vacations became more popular, she responded with private on-shore excursions and customized pre- and post-cruise stays.

She also introduced a reward-based program to encourage early hotel bookings. Now in its third year, Smart Start was designed to help hotels avoid "garbage rates that attracted the wrong client and didn't allow hotels to provide usual levels of service."

Baer's enthusiasm is reflected in everything she does. "I'm the head cheerleader and motivational speaker," she said. "I'm very knowledgeable, and I impart that to everyone who has come to work here."

For more information plaese visit: www.jdbhotels.com
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