Center for Hospitality Research 2012 Industry Relevance Award winners announced

Studies of customer rewards programs and revenue management strategies are winners of the 2012 Industry Relevance Awards from the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). Each year the awards program names two winners and two runners-up to acknowledge researchers who have published reports that hospitality practitioners consider to be useful for operations and strategy.

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.

The study by Voorhees, McCall, and Calantone focuses on achieving better returns on frequent customer rewards programs by making them more effective in cementing customer loyalty. Voorhees and Calantone are on the faculty of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, and McCall, who is a CHR visiting researcher, is chair of the department of marketing and law at Ithaca College.

For the revenue management study, Kimes surveyed 186 revenue managers globally and found that revenue management will become more integrated across hospitality businesses and determined 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’s benchmarking study surveyed 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 School of Hotel Administration. McGill is executive vice president of Vantage Strategy.

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 School of Hotel Administration.