Cornell Center for Hospitality Research Observes 20th Anniversary

Ithaca, NY, February 8, 2012 – The Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration celebrates 20 years of service to the hospitality industry in 2012, with events designed to create new knowledge, share information with the hospitality industry, and connect industry practitioners with academic researchers. In other words, it will continue to do what it has been doing—sponsoring and freely distributing research, bringing together industry and academe in a series of roundtables, and presenting research findings at industry events. No other university-based research center uses the Cornell model, in which corporate partners support the CHR, which in turn distributes its research at no charge for the benefit of the entire industry.

In addition, the CHR will produce the second Cornell Hospitality Research Summit (CHRS), which provides a forum for sharing research between some 300 industry executives and academic researchers. The CHRS, set for October 8 and 9, 2012, carries the theme, “Service Excellence and Performance Growth in the Global Hospitality Industry: Strategies and Approaches for Navigating Forward.” All research and presentations under this theme must be based on research that has specific and actionable implications for the industry. Professor Rohit Verma, CHR executive director, has issued a call for presentations and papers for the CHRS, from both academic researchers and industry experts. A special observance of the CHR anniversary will be held during the CHRS.

In 1991, when the faculty of the School of Hotel Administration created the Center for Hospitality Research, it was clear that the CHR’s purpose would be to promote research and create a unique community of industry leaders and academics to help power the industry forward, but it was not clear how to share that research. Once the center was launched, in 1992, Cornell faculty made research presentations during such industry events as the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York City. Though these early studies were well received, a workable mechanism for sharing those findings widely did not exist. That changed in 2001, when the CHR geared up its current internet-based approach of creating and posting research reports for anyone who registers on its website which helped to create a robust ongoing dialogue and burgeoning new community. Through roundtables and board meetings, a dynamic conversation of this group of senior executives and academics was created. Rapid expansion of research publications, roundtables, and events has helped the CHR become the leading research enterprise on the hospitality industry, based in an Ivy League university.

From that modest start, the CHR now has well over 137,000 people in 118 countries registered to use its site, and more than 93,000 people subscribe to its monthly newsletter, which tells about new research studies and provides other information. Starting with just three reports in 2001, the CHR website now hosts 154 reports, 22 tools, 12 proceedings, and seven industry perspectives. CHR’s web users requested more than 1 million page views in 2011.

After Associate Professor Steven Carvell initiated the CHR, its development was made possible by a series of executive directors, drawn from the faculty of the School of Hotel Administration. They are, in order, Professors Jack Corgel, Leo Renaghan, Cathy Enz, Gary Thompson, David Sherwyn, and Rohit Verma, who is the current executive director. The CHR’s effort is supported by 77 corporate sponsors—senior partners, partners, and friends that provide financial support, aggregated data, and advice regarding the CHR’s research agenda. Representatives of corporate partners and senior partners constitute the CHR’s advisory board. Also essential to CHR’s mission is the involvement of students at the School of Hotel Administration at both the undergraduate and graduate level, who have conducted and published research studies through the CHR. Current executive director Verma acknowledges and thanks Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and STR as the first partners who helped re-launch the CHR in 2001, and expressed his appreciation to current senior partners and partners (listed below).

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