Cornell "Ratings and Rankings Roundtable" Highlights Needs for International Consistency

Mar 23, 2010

Contact:  Glenn Withiam, 607.255.3025, grw4@cornell.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Cornell "Ratings and Rankings Roundtable" Highlights Needs for International Consistency

Problems include international differences in rankings, and unpredictable website ratings

Ithaca, NY, March 23, 2010 – Hotel and restaurant operators are caught between their effort to meet the standards of international rating organizations and the need to respond to unexpected comments on social media websites. Meeting in January 2010 at the Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management in Singapore (CNI), participants in the first Ratings and Ranking Roundtable sought ways to navigate the treacherous waters of anonymous internet commentaries, as well as address the sometimes inconsistent rating systems in various Asian nations. At the same time, the participants reflected on the importance of maintaining standards set by international rating services, such as AAA, Forbes, and Michelin.

The deliberations are reported in: "2010 Ratings and Rankings Roundtable: The Quest for Consistent Ratings," by Rohit Verma and Russell Arthur Smith. Verma is a professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and executive director of the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). Smith is interim dean of CNI, which is a joint project of Cornell and the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The roundtable proceedings are available from the CHR at no charge, at http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/roundtableproceedings/.

Although ratings and rankings (both formal and informal) can be a benefit to hotels and restaurants when they are positive, they also present complications. While the international rating organizations (such as Forbes or Michelin) offer consistent and measurable standards, there remains no single system for ranking hotels worldwide. Moreover, some national governments have established their own rating systems, which often do not correspond to other standards.

To make matters even more challenging, hotels and restaurants have no way to know the basis of comments posted on social websites. Some sites, such as TripAdvisor, limit comments to those who have actually used the service, but that may not be true of other sites. Hotels and restaurants seek a way to interact with internet posters—both favorable and unfavorable, but are not sure whether or how to respond to comments. At minimum, roundtable participants seek a standard of accurate information on social media sites.

Meet and interact with Professor Verma, an active member of the executive education faculty at the School of Hotel Administration, when he presents sessions in the General Managers Program: http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/industry/executive/gmp/index.html.

Thanks to the support of the CHR partners listed below, all publications posted on the center's website are available free of charge, at www.chr.cornell.edu.

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 79 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 www.chr.cornell.edu.

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