Corporate Friends Assist Cornell Center for Hospitality Research in Study of India's Hotels

Aug 22, 2013

Contact:  Jane Henion, 607.254.8987,

Corporate Friends Assist Cornell Center for Hospitality Research in Study of India's Hotels

Ithaca, NY, August 22, 2013 - Four hotel companies based in India have become new Friends of the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at the School of Hotel Administration, and they have immediately started assisting the CHR in a comprehensive study of the hospitality industry in India. Also assisting on the study is another new friend, RateGain, which provides a diverse portfolio of hospitality technology solutions. The new hotel Friends are Historic Resort Hotels Pvt. Ltd. (HRH Group of Hotels), The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts, The Lemon Tree Hotel Company and The Park Hotels.

All five new friends are assisting with a Cornell research project that examines how hotel guests in India use social media and other online distribution channels to search information for and book a hotel room.

"This study is a perfect example of CHR's mission of working with hospitality firms to conduct research that will benefit both the industry and future researchers," said Rohit Verma, a professor of service operations management at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, who is the study's principal investigator. "Thanks to these four hotel firms, we now have data from over 2,000 travelers regarding how they 'found' and selected a hotel. RateGain is providing additional data for the study from its vast data center to complement the survey results."

Assisting Verma in analyzing the data is a Kanika Thakran, who is a recent M.M.H. graduate from the School of Hotel Administration and is now working for Milestone Internet Marketing, which also is a CHR Friend.

Verma added that this study is an outgrowth of the first CHR Industry Roundtable to be held in India, which was hosted in January 2012 in Mumbai by Taj Hotels, Resorts, and Palaces, a CHR Senior Partner. "During that roundtable, we presented a study that examined the use of social media by hotel customers in the United States," Verma explained. "The roundtable participants, who included several senior hotel executives from India and abroad, requested that we undertake similar study for Indian hotel customers. We are pleased to have the support of the five new CHR friends and other existing CHR partners in getting this important research done. We hope to release a report based on the results within the next few weeks."

The proceedings of the India Roundtable are available at no charge from the CHR: "Connecting Customer Value to Social Media Strategies: Focus on India," by Rohit Verma, Ramit Gupta, and Jon Denison. The original study of U.S. hotel customers' use of the internet is also available at no charge from the CHR: "How Travelers Use Online and Social Media Channels to Make Hotel-choice Decisions," by Laura McCarthy, Debra Stock, and Rohit Verma.

About the new CHR Friends

HRH Group of Hotels is India's only chain of heritage palace-hotels and resorts under private ownership. Headquartered in Udaipur, HRH Group of Hotels preserves palaces and sanctuary-resorts. HRH offers both Grand Heritage Hotels and Royal Retreats, including the multiple-award-winning Fateh Prakash Palace and the Shiv Niwas Palace.

Established in Mumbai in 1987, The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts comprises a collection of luxury hotels and resorts in eight of India's major destinations, including The Leela Palace Chennai, a newly opened property which overlooks the Bay of Bengal as the city's only seafront city hotel. Among their international linkages, the group is affiliated with Kempinski and with Preferred Hotels and Resorts.

The Lemon Tree Hotel Company owns and operates 24 hotels in 14 cities in India, with brands in the upscale, midscale, and economy hotel categories. Founded in 2002, The Lemon Tree Hotel Company owns 2,600 rooms and employs over 3,000 associates, making it India's third-largest chain in terms of rooms owned. The company has been ranked in the Top 50 Great Places to Work 2012. Lemon Tree is also the recipient of the National Award for empowerment and employment of people with disabilities.

A part of the century-old conglomerate Apeejay Surrendra Group, The Park Hotels are pioneers of contemporary luxury hotels in India. In 1967, The Park Hotels launched their first property in Kolkata. Today the group operates 11 hotels and is present in India's major cities and leisure destinations; many are members of Design Hotels. Situated in prime locations, The Park Hotels house some of India's most inventive restaurants, liveliest bars, and happening nightclubs.

Just nine years after its founding, RateGain has become a leader in hospitality technology solutions for seamless electronic distribution (channel management), revenue management decision support, and brand engagement (reputation to revenue conversion) helping customers around the world to streamline their operations and sales. Since its inception in 2004, RateGain's expertise in innovating solutions for the dynamic hospitality ecosystem has resulted in continuous growth and an established position as a thought-leader and trendsetter in the marketplace.
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 76 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit

Center Senior Partners: Accenture, ASAE Foundation, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, 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, Expedia, Inc., Forbes Travel Guide, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Maritz, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice, McDonald's USA,, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer, ReviewPro, Revinate, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Sathguru Management Consultants (P) Ltd., Schneider Electric, Travelport, TripAdvisor, and Wyndham Hotel Group

Center Friends: • Berkshire Healthcare • Center for Advanced Retail Technology • Cleverdis • Complete Seating • Cruise Industry News • DK Shifflet & Associates • eCornell & Executive Education • • EyeforTravel • The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) • Gerencia de Hoteles & Restaurantes • Global Hospitality Resources • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) • • • Hospitality Technology Magazine • • HRH Group of Hotels Pvt. Ltd. • International CHRIE • International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) • iPerceptions • J.D. Power and Associates • The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. • The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts • The Lemon Tree Hotel Company • Lodging Hospitality • Lodging Magazine • LRA Worldwide, Inc. • Milestone Internet Marketing • MindFolio • Mindshare Technologies • The Park Hotels • PhoCusWright Inc. • PKF Hospitality Research • Questex Hospitality Group • RateGain • The Resort Trades • • Shibata Publishing Co. • Sustainable Travel International • UniFocus • WIWIH.COM