Award Winning Cornell Studies Analyze Mobile Apps and Hotel Conversions

May 10, 2016

Contact: Carol Zhe, 607.254.4504,

Award Winning Cornell Studies Analyze Mobile Apps and Hotel Conversions

Ithaca, NY, May 10, 2016 - Two Cornell studies—one analyzing hotel brand conversions and the other surveying travelers' mobile preferences—have been named Industry Relevance Award winners for 2016. The awards were announced Thursday, May 5, in a ceremony at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. The reports are "Hotel Brand Conversions: What Works and What Doesn't," by Chekitan Dev, and "The Mobile Revolution Is Here: Are You Ready?," by Heather Linton and Robert J. Kwortnik. Both reports, which are available at no charge, were published in 2015 by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research.

The Industry Relevance awards recognize two current Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) Reports or Tools that have had significant impact on the hospitality industry. A chief goal of CHR studies is to provide useful research-based information for the industry. CHR Reports and Tools published in 2015 were all eligible for the award.  Winners were determined by CHR Advisory Board members.

In his article, "Hotel Brand Conversions: What Works and What Doesn't," Dev noted the high level of rebranding in the hotel industry, and assessed the effectiveness of that rebranding. He identified two factors that drive financial results: the relative strength of the new brand and the fit between brand and property. In a comparison involving 3,000 hotels, he found that hotels moving downscale generally improved their occupancy, and thus their top-line revenue and profit ratios, compared those that did not change brands. However, hotels that moved upscale did not see notable changes in revenue or profit. Dev is an associate professor at the School of Hotel Administration.

Linton and Kwortnik found that hotel guests are ready to do much more with their smartphones than is currently possible. For their study, "The Mobile Revolution Is Here: Are You Ready?," they surveyed 754 U.S. travelers. Linton is a PhD student at the School of Hotel Administration, where Kwortnik is an associate professor.

They found that young travelers in particular would like to use their mobile devices to handle routine functions, such as checking in and out of a hotel. However, respondents generally still preferred to use their PC for planning and booking purposes before the trip. Privacy remains a great concern for most of the respondents, and they particularly dislike the idea of apps that include automatic geolocation. They also learned that travelers seem to prefer multi-purpose apps as half of them eventually deleted the single-purpose apps that they had downloaded.

About the Center for Hospitality Research
The purpose of the Center for Hospitality Research is to enable and conduct research of significance to the global hospitality and related service industries. CHR also works to improve the connections between academe and industry, continuing the School of Hotel Administration's long-standing tradition of service to the hospitality industry. Founded in 1992, CHR remains the industry's foremost creator and distributor of timely research, all of which is posted at no charge for all to use. In addition to its industry advisory board, CHR convenes several industry roundtables each year for the purpose of identifying new issues affecting the hospitality industry.

Center Members: Accenture, Access Point Financial, Inc., Barclaycard US, Cvent, Davis & Gilbert LLP, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, DerbySoft, Duetto, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, Hilton Worldwide, Host Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, IDeaS Revenue Solutions, Infosys Limited, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, Marriott International, NTT DATA, Preferred Hotels & Resorts,, PwC, The Rainmaker Group, RateGain, ReviewPro, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, STR, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro EcoEnergy, and Wyndham Hotel Group