Cornell Center for Hospitality Research Announces 2012 Industry Relevance Award Winners

May 03, 2012

Contact:  Jane Henion, 607.254.8987,

Cornell Center for Hospitality Research Announces 2012 Industry Relevance Award Winners

Ithaca, NY, May 3, 2012 – Studies of customer rewards programs and revenue management strategies are winners of the 2012 Industry Relevance Awards from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at the School of Hotel Administration, given for reports and tools posted on the CHR's website. CHR associate director Jennifer Macera explained how the awards are determined: "The award winners are determined by the CHR's advisory board members and the users of the CHR's website based on nominations from industry practitioners. Each year, two winners and two runners-up are selected for the Industry Relevance Award, which recognizes faculty who have researched an important topic and created a CHR Report or CHR Tool that has had significant impact on the hospitality industry."

The 2012 winners are: "Customer Loyalty: A New Look at the Benefits of Improving Segmentation Efforts with Rewards Programs," by Clay Voorhees, Michael McCall, and Roger Calantone; and "The Future of Hotel Revenue Management," by Sheryl E. Kimes. The runners-up are "2011 Travel Industry Benchmarking: Marketing ROI, Opportunities, and Challenges in Online and Social Media Channels for Destination and Marketing Firms," by Rohit Verma and Ken McGill; and "Fostering Service Excellence through Listening: What Hospitality Managers Need to Know," by Judi Brownell.

Voorhees, McCall, and Calantone have been studying frequent customer rewards programs with a goal of making them more effective in cementing customer loyalty. To improve the programs' return on investment, a key element is to use data to create genuine customer segments that focus on high value customers. Voorhees is on the faculty of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State; McCall, who is a visiting assistant professor at the School of Hotel Administration, is a CHR visiting scholar and chair of the department of marketing and law at Ithaca College; and Calantone is the Eli Broad Professor of Business and co-director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Eli Broad College.

The revenue management study by Kimes continues a series of explorations of applications of revenue management in many areas of hospitality strategy. In this study, she surveyed 186 revenue managers globally, finding that revenue management will become more integrated across hospitality businesses, and determining that hiring qualified revenue managers will be a substantial challenge. Kimes is the Singapore Tourism Board Distinguished Professor in Asian Hospitality Management at the School of Hotel Administration.

Verma and McGill conducted a landmark study of 426 marketing executives to determine the status of lodging and destination marketing practices, particularly with regard to electronic channels. Verma is CHR executive director and a professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. McGill is managing director of Rockport Analytics.

A noted authority and researcher on communication and listening, Brownell surveyed 83 hospitality managers who stated that listening is critical for hospitality success. She then offered a specific technique to strengthen listening abilities. Brownell is a professor and dean of students at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

About the Industry Relevance Award

The recipients of this award are selected by industry practitioners who have read and voted for the top research studies published within the last three years. The resulting studies are ranked in a survey sent to CHR website registrants who have downloaded five or more publications. Finally, the top ten reports and tools are reviewed by the CHR Advisory Board members, who vote on their two favorite to determine two winners and two runners-up.

Previous winners of the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research Industry Relevance award can be found 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 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 Senior Partners: ASAE Foundation, Carlson Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, National Restaurant Association, SAS, STR, and Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces   

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 Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Maritz, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice, McDonald's USA, newBrandAnalytics,, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer, ReviewPro, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Sathguru Management Consultants (P) Ltd., Schneider Electric, Thayer Lodging Group, Thompson Hotels, Travelport, WATG and Wyndham Hotel Group

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