For Women Business Travelers, Focus on the Full Effect, Not Individual Amenities, says Cornell Study

Jun 28, 2011

Contact:  Jane Henion, 607.255.9780, jmh222@cornell.edu 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
For Women Business Travelers, Focus on the Full Effect, Not Individual Amenities, says Cornell Study

Amenities and features are important, but overall emotional effect is the essential factor 

Ithaca, NY, June 28, 2011 – For forty years, the number of women business travelers has been growing rapidly, and for forty years, hotel operators have attempted to discern and meet the needs of this dynamic group, usually by looking at the features and amenities offered by the hotel. A new study by Cornell School of Hotel Administration Professor Judi Brownell proposes a more holistic approach that takes into account the overall emotional effect of clusters of features and amenities. Brownell's study, "Creating Value for Women Business Travelers: Focusing on Emotional Outcomes," is available from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research at no charge at http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/reports/2011.html.

"When hotel operators ask what women want, the answer is not so much specific features as it is an overall outcome relating to how the experience makes them feel," said Brownell. "In this context, we have found that women want to feel secure, comfortable, empowered, and valued. When I tested this insight in a model, the result was clusters of amenities and features that contributed to these critical affective outcomes."

To fill a gap in existing research, Brownell conducted a survey of hotel managers to determine their perceptions of what women business travelers sought in a stay. The managers rated safety as a top concern. As an example, specific features that contribute to a feeling of safety include covered parking, secure locks, well-lit hallways, and thoughtful room locations.

"Over time, I believe we are seeing a greater industry consensus on how to serve this rapidly growing market segment," said Brownell. "What is clear is that the overall emotion or affect is more important than a particular amenity or hotel feature."

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 82 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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