Loyalty Programs Improve Hotel Revenues.
Cornell Hospitality Quarterly
Thursday, 12th March 2009
This article establishes benefits of loyalty-based marketing expenditures, but some hotels make more money by trimming certain categories.

An analysis of marketing expenditures by more than 2,800 U.S. hotels has been voted the best article for 2008 in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ). The study is the first to establish a solid connection between spending on loyalty programs and net operating income.

"This is a groundbreaking study," said Linda Canina, editor of the Cornell Quarterly and an associate professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. "By analyzing several hotel segments, the authors identified the type of hotels that benefit from additional spending on loyalty programs, and those that should keep their marketing payroll in line. This is the type of study we most like to publish, because it both advances academic knowledge and provides managers with new information to improve their resource allocation strategies."

The article was selected from a strong field of articles nominated by CQ editorial board members and Cornell faculty. Two articles dealing with human resources issues were runners up. First runner up was "Recognizing the Emotional Element in Service Excellence," by Misty M. Johanson and Robert H. Woods, both at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

This article reported on strategies by human resources directors for assisting employees with the emotional demands of hotel work. The second runner up, "Contextual Factors and Cost Profiles Associated with Employee Turnover," by Cornell professors J. Bruce Tracey and Timothy R. Hinkin, focused on the specific factors that increased employee turnover costs and offered strategies to reduce turnover costs.

The winning article, "The Relationship of Sales and Marketing Expenses to Hotel Performance in the United States," by John W. O'Neill, Bjorn Hanson, and Anna S. Mattila, was published in the November 2008 CQ, and is available at no charge from Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research,


O'Neill and Mattila are on the faculty at Pennsylvania State University, while Hanson is at New York University.
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