Cornell Case Studies Profile Innovative Hospitality Firms

Nov 16, 2009

Contact:  Glenn Withiam, 607.255.3025,

Cornell Case Studies Profile Innovative Hospitality Firms

Hospitality and hotel case studies show how innovators exploit technology and fill market gaps

Ithaca, NY, November 16, 2009 – The first in a series of hospitality and hotel case studies featuring innovative companies highlights ten diverse firms that have brought novel ideas and processes to the hospitality market. Chosen from nominees around the world, these hospitality and hotel innovation leaders include hotel firms, food and beverage providers, and travel industry suppliers. Technology is critical to most of the innovations, but all of them rely on turning inspiration into a novel operation.

The ten firms are profiled in "Cases in Innovative Practices in Hospitality and Related Services (Set 1)," by Judy A. Siguaw, Cathy A. Enz, Sheryl E. Kimes, Rohit Verma, and Kate Walsh. Siguaw was founding dean of the Cornell-Nanyang Institute. Enz, Kimes, Verma, and Walsh are faculty members at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Subsequent case study packages will each spotlight ten more firms. All hospitality and hotel cases studies are available at no charge from Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research,

"We see two critical factors combined in these cases," said Judy Siguaw, principal author of the first set of cases. "First, the innovator has identified a clear gap or need in the market. We found that this inspiration comes from many different sources. Second, the innovator has found a way to fill that gap or meet that need. As the cases demonstrate, this often is much more difficult than it sounds."

This package of hospitality and hotel case studies features the following innovative companies:
• Aqua by Grandstand, which has developed a portable nautical-theme nightclub venue that can be easily moved, set up in currently hot locations, and then moved again as needed;
• Brand Karma, which uses web crawlers to record any comments regarding clients' hotels or restaurants, and also creates demographic profiles of those making the comments to promote effective marketing;
• Capella Hotels & Resorts, upscale hotels that have adjusted their operations to allow guests to check in or check out 24 hours per day;
• EnTrip, which embeds destination and travel-related information on an electronic map (using Google Maps among other aps), to allow travelers both to share information about their trips and to learn more about a destination merely by clicking on a particular location;
• Visualiser, a graphic interface that allows users to click on images that best represent the ideal features of their trip, thereby building a profile that allows to present the most desirable options for prospective trips (including a "surprise me" option);
• The Luggage Club, which offers guaranteed, safe delivery of travelers' luggage as specified by the customer, and also packs, insures, and enters the luggage into carriers' delivery systems;
• Royal Plaza on Scots, a hotel that has "branded" its upscale service to remain competitive as a newly independent and renovated property, most particularly by eliminating service scripts and instead instilling employees with core service principles;
• Tastings, a franchised chain of wine bars that uses Enomatic technology to allow guests to serve themselves small samples of more than 120 wines, and follows that up with a complete service-oriented package of wine sales and food service;
• Tune Hotels, a budget hotel chain based in Asia that sells clean, function rooms and allows guests to purchase such amenities as air conditioning and a towel and soap package, thus giving guests the choice of what they use and what they spend in the room; and
•, an integrated website maintained by the eponymous destination marketing organization that merges its web operations with those of partners to improve information availability for travelers and to strengthen sales of travel-related services.
Thanks to the support of the CHR 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 78 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 Senior Partners: American Airlines Admirals Club,, McDonald's USA, Philips Hospitality, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, and TIG Global

Center Partners: AIG Global Real Estate Investment, Davis & Gilbert LLP, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Denihan Hospitality Group, eCornell & Executive Education, Expedia, Inc., Forbes Travel Guide, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, French Quarter Holdings, Inc., FX Real Estate and Entertainment, Inc., HVS, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer Rose LLP, SAS, Smith Travel Research, SynXis (a Sabre Holdings Corporation), Thayer Lodging Group, Thompson Hotels, Travelport, WATG, and WhiteSand Consulting

Center Friends: • American Tescor, LLC • Argyle Executive Forum • Berkshire Healthcare • Cody Kramer Imports • Cruise Industry News • DK Shifflet & Associates • • EyeforTravel • 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 • HotelWorld Network • International CHRIE • International Hotel Conference • International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) • iPerceptions • JDA Software Group, Inc. • Lodging Hospitality • Lodging Magazine • Milestone Internet Marketing • MindFolio • Mindshare Technologies • Parasol • PhoCusWright Inc. • PKF Hospitality Research • The Resort Trades • RealShare Hotel Investment & Finance Summit • Resort and Recreation Magazine • • Shibata Publishing Co. • Synovate • The Lodging Conference • TravelCLICK • UniFocus • WageWatch, Inc. • WIWIH.COM