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Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Focuses on Rapid Changes in Hospitality Industry

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October 15, 2012

Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Focuses on Rapid Changes in Hospitality Industry

By Jane Henion, 15 Oct 2012, Cornell University School of Hotel Adminstration

Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Focuses on Rapid Changes in Hospitality Industry

With two keynote panels and over 80 presenters, the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit 2012 (CHRS 2012) brought some 240 participants to the School of Hotel Administration for two intense days of presentations and discussion. Participants came from 21 nations in addition to the U.S., with about 60 percent industry practitioners and 40 percent academic researchers.

In keeping with the conference’s theme of moving the industry forward, CHRS 2012 kicked off with a panel of industry CEOs, who spotlighted the industry’s current challenges and pointed toward possible solutions. The panelists pointed out the clear connection between operations excellence and value creation, and suggested that hotels should choose to offer services that fit their corporate values. Investment in staff training is important, but that training should focus more on capabilities than on specific knowledge about the industry. Perhaps one of the industry’s greatest challenges is how to offset the focus on price and location in hotel sales.

The second keynote panel comprised the deans of hospitality education programs from around the globe. For their part, the deans also see the industry’s many changes and point to hospitality educators’ constant struggle to keep up. Echoing the CEOs’ concerns about employee capability, the deans panel members pointed to the need to provide a holistic approach to education that builds skill sets and engages students in hospitality and service. Academic programs are being redesigned around the industry’s major aspects, including both investment and operations. Education should also create an understanding of value management and promote an entrepreneurial approach.

The CEO panel members were Arthur Adler, managing director and CEO, Americas, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels; Sebasti?n Escarrer, former CEO and vice chairman, and current board member of Meli? Hotels International; David Peckinpaugh, president, Maritz Travel Company; Ted Teng, President & CEO, The Leading Hotels of the World; and Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman, global and U.S. travel, hospitality and leisure leader, Deloitte & Touche USA. The panel was moderated by Associate Professor Steven Carvell, associate dean of the School of Hotel Administration..

The deans panel was moderated by Kirk Kinsell, president, The Americas, of InterContinental Hotels Group. Representing hospitality educators were the following deans: John Bowen, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston; Kaye Chon, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Fabien Fresnel, Ecole h?teli?re de Lausanne; Bjorn Hanson, Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management, New York University; and Christopher Muller, School of Hospitality Administration, Boston University.


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