Cornell Study Says Hotel Managers Worry about Human Resources, Economy

Mar 06, 2009

Contact:  Glenn Withiam, 607.255.3025,

Cornell Study Says Hotel Managers Worry about Human Resources, Economy

Ithaca, NY, March 5, 2009 – A survey of 243 hotel managers and executives from over sixty countries identifies continuing concerns with human resources as the most nettlesome issue for the hospitality industry, according to a study issued by Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research. The study, “Key Issues of Concern in the Lodging Industry: What Worries Managers,” was conducted by Cathy Enz, the Lewis G. Schaeneman, Jr. Professor of Innovation and Dynamic Management at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. As with all Cornell Hospitality Reports, this study is available at no charge at

“The world economy, global warming, recession, taxation, rising costs, shifting customer needs, and a lack of strategic thinking among senior leaders in the industry were all issues of concern to managers around the globe,” said Enz. “Nevertheless, human resources were the big worry for both hotel general managers and corporate executives alike. I must add, however, that the 2008 study was completed before the current economic slowdown. A number of respondents mentioned economic and cost management concerns in this study, but I suspect the economic uncertainty of recent months and its impact on travel may be having a more crippling effect on demand and access to locations than was previously observed."

Problems with attraction, retention, training and development of the industry's work force were cited by respondents around the world as their number-one concern. Given the tenacity of these issues, Enz suggests that industry leaders should work together to rethink how to handle these never-ending challenges. While respondents noted that economic and environmental issues may be adversely influencing the hospitality industry, many thoughtful managers in this study argued for the importance of building stronger human resource strategies, even in hard times.

Thanks to the support of the Center for Hospitality Research partners listed below, all publications posted on the center's website are available free of charge, at
About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 77 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit
Center partners and sponsors: AIG Global Real Estate Investment, American Airlines Admirals Club, Davis & Gilbert LLP, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Denihan Hospitality Group, eCornell & Executive Education, Expedia, Inc., Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, FX Real Estate and Entertainment, Inc., General Growth Properties, Inc., HVS, InterContinental Hotels Group,, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice, McDonald's USA, Mobil Travel Guide, Inc., Philips Hospitality, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer Rose LLP, SAS, Smith Travel Research, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., SynXis (a Sabre Holdings Corporation), Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Thayer Lodging Group, TIG Global, Thompson Hotels, Travelport, WATG, and WhiteSand Consulting

Center friends: • American Tescor, LLC • Argyle Executive Forum • Caribbean Hotel and Restaurant Buyers Guide • Cody Kramer Imports • Cruise Industry News • DK Shifflet & Associates • • EyeforTravel • Fireman's Fund Insurance Company • Gerencia de Hoteles & Restaurantes • Global Hospitality Resources • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) • • • Hospitality Technology Magazine • Hotel Asia Pacific • Hotel China • • Hotel Interactive • Hotel Resource • International CHRIE • International Hotel and Restaurant Association • International Hotel Conference • International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) • iPerceptions • Lodging Hospitality • Lodging Magazine • Milestone Internet Marketing • MindFolio • Parasol • PhoCusWright, Inc. • PKF Hospitality Research • The Resort Trades • RealShare Hotel Investment & Finance Summit • Resort+Recreation Magazine • • Shibata Publishing Co. • Synovate • The Lodging Conference • TravelCLICK • UniFocus • WageWatch, Inc. • WIWIH.COM