Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Explores the Dimensions of Electronic Distribution and Revenue Management

As the relationship between hotel operators and electronic distribution channels continues to develop, a new proceedings from the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit (CHRS) examines the dimensions of that relationship.

Cornell Center For Hospitality Research The proceedings, “Brave New World: Online Hotel Distribution,” is available at no charge from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research(CHR) at A chief thread of all presentations is the strategic need for hotels to establish and maintain price integrity—a challenge in recent economic times.

Based on presentations at the CHRS, which was held in October 2010, the proceedings provides detailed suggestions for how hotels can make the most of online travel agent sites. Presenters included Brian Ferguson, vice president, supply strategy and analysis, Expedia; Tim Gordon, senior vice president, hotels,; and Jay Hubbs, director of revenue management, Hotwire. Although the strategies vary for the opaque travel sites (e.g., priceline and Hotwire) as compared to the online travel agents (e.g., Expedia and Travelocity), the presenters recommended certain common strategies. Chief among these is to use the online sites consistently, in high times and low times, to gain better placement on the sites. Priceline and Hotwire are designed to help hotels maintain rate integrity because they do not reveal identifying information about a property during the purchase process. Thus, hotels can offer numerous rate and room categories and test the market for different packages.

Other presenters included Kurt Ekert, chief commercial officer, Travelport GDS, who explained the full dimensions of hotel distribution through both online and traditional channels; Cornell Assistant Professor Chris Anderson, who explained his research on the promotional benefits for hotels listed on online travel agent sites; Cornell Professor Cathy Enz, who presented research results demonstrating the importance of price integrity; and STR co-founder Randy Smith and vice president Duane Vinson, who explained the status of hotel pricing and performance.

Presenters also addressed the continuing integration of revenue management with hotel marketing. Cornell Professor Sheryl Kimes presented the results of her study of revenue and hotel managers, and David Roberts, senior vice president of global revenue management, Marriott International, offered his perspective on revenue management, suggesting that RM must operate seamlessly across all distribution channels.

About CHRS
In the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit, the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) brings together faculty, corporate partners, and other industry leaders to develop new ideas, theories, and models that improve strategic, managerial, and operating practices. The next CHRS is scheduled for October 3–5, 2012.

The 2010 CHRS brought together 225 director level and above representatives of industry and academe to the beautiful campus of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. This “thought leadership” summit featured keynote addresses from industry and academe, in-depth presentations from scholars and practitioners, and the hospitality “research in practice” award ceremony. A total of four proceedings from this conference are posted for download at no charge from CHR at

The CHRS was made possible by the following sponsors: Avaya, Charlie’s Grilled Subs, Hotel Business,,, (HNN),, and J.D. Power and Associates.

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 79 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: Hilton Worldwide, McDonald's USA, Philips Hospitality, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., STR, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, and TIG Global

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., FX Real Estate and Entertainment, Inc., HVS, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer Rose LLP, SAS, Smith Travel Research, SynXis (a Sabre Holdings Corporation), Thayer Lodging Group, Thompson Hotels, Travelport, WATG, and WhiteSand Consulting

Center Friends: • American Tescor, LLC • Argyle Executive Forum • Berkshire Healthcare • Cody Kramer Imports • Cruise Industry News • DK Shifflet & Associates • • EyeforTravel • Gerencia de Hoteles & Restaurantes • Global Hospitality Resources • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) • • • Hospitality Technology Magazine • Hotel Asia Pacific • Hotel China • • Hotel Interactive • Hotel Resource • HotelWorld Network • International CHRIE • International Hotel Conference • International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) • iPerceptions • JDA Software Group, Inc. • Lodging Hospitality • Lodging Magazine • Milestone Internet Marketing • MindFolio • Mindshare Technologies • Parasol • PhoCusWright Inc. • PKF Hospitality Research • The Resort Trades • RealShare Hotel Investment & Finance Summit • Resort and Recreation Magazine • • Shibata Publishing Co. • Synovate • The Lodging Conference • TravelCLICK • UniFocus • USA Today • WageWatch, Inc. • WIWIH.COM

Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.