Hotels' Recovery from External Shocks Started Sooner than Expected, says Cornell Study

Feb 21, 2011

Contact:  Glenn Withiam, 607.255.3025,

Hotels' Recovery from External Shocks Started Sooner than Expected, says Cornell Study

The effects of both 9/11 attacks and the 2008 economic crisis soon faded, but recession continued

Ithaca, NY, February 21, 2011 – Although there's no doubt that the U.S. hotel industry was damaged by the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the economic crisis of 2008, the effects of those two events were not as extensive as some observers might think. A new study published by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research analyzed the isolated effects of the 9/11 attacks and the economic crisis on hotel average daily rates, occupancy, and revenue per available room. As explained in the study, "The Impact of Terrorism and Economic Shocks on U.S. Hotels," by Cathy A. Enz, Renáta Kosová, and Mark Lomanno, when the effects of those two events were isolated from the other  factors (affecting hotel performance at the same time), the recovery in hotel performance from the negative impact of the two events started relatively quickly.

The study examined data on 34,695 hotels provided by Smith Travel Research from 2000 through 2009. Without a doubt the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, quickly and severely damaged U.S. hotels' rate and occupancy, and the financial crisis of late 2008 had a similar but less pronounced effect on hotels' business. However, looking only at the effects of these events, the industry began to recover within a few months from both shocks.
"We've intentionally isolated the effects of these two shocks from factors like inflation, unemployment, and hotel seasonality to gain a sense of how the industry is specifically affected by unexpected events of this kind," said Enz, who is the Lewis G. Schaeneman, Jr. Professor of Innovation and Dynamic Management at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. "However, both the terrorist attacks and the economic crisis preceded economic recessions that continued to depress hotels' operations. In this study, we've controlled for hotel characteristic and other external events to focus directly on the impact of the two environmental shocks."

Kosová is an assistant professor at the School of Hotel Administration, and Lomanno is president of STR. The full study is available at no charge from the Center for Hospitality Research at

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 81 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: Hilton Worldwide, McDonald's USA, Philips Hospitality, SAS, STR, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, and TIG Global

Center Partners: 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., HVS, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Maritz, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Schneider Electric, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., Thayer Lodging Group, Thompson Hotels, Travelport, and WATG

Center Friends: • American Tescor, LLC • Argyle Executive Forum • Berkshire Healthcare • Center for Advanced Retail Technology • 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 • International CHRIE • International Hotel Conference • International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) • iPerceptions • JDA Software Group, Inc. • J.D. Power and Associates • Lodging Hospitality • Lodging Magazine • LRA Worldwide, Inc. • Milestone Internet Marketing • MindFolio • Mindshare Technologies • PhoCusWright • PKF Hospitality Research • The Resort Trades • RealShare Hotel Investment & Finance Summit • Resort and Recreation Magazine • • Shibata Publishing Co. • Synovate • The Lodging Conference • The Wall Street Journal • The TravelCom Network • Travel + Hospitality Group • UniFocus • USA Today • WageWatch, Inc. • WIWIH.COM