March 26, 2001

Strategies of Hospitality

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While Cornell’s student population was enjoying spring break, members of the School of Hotel Administration and of a variety hospitality industry companies gathered in Washington, D.C. for the fifth annual “Hospitality Industry Strategy Conference — The Americas” to discuss strategies in all areas of the industry.

The general aim, said Tom Cullen, associate dean for industry and international affairs and director of the strategy conferences, was to ask “what are those things that are changing, and what stays the same? How do people have to change the way they approach things?”

This was achieved by sharing the “theoretical perspective” of Cornell professors and faculty members with the “applied perspective” of those in the hospitality industry.

According to Cullen, “the pace of change today is faster than in all of mankind,” and these conferences are intended to raise the issues of change in the industry and bring up strategies for adapting.

Those from the industry included co-chairs of the event Charles S. Henry, president of Hotel Capital Advisers, and William R. Tiefel, vice chairman of Marriott International Inc.

At the conference — which was held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel — a series of discussions was held on topics such as technology, creative financing, hotel design and general strategic issues. These discussions were co-moderated by an academic expert from Cornell and an industry expert, with a panel of several people including analysts, executives and researchers, along with representatives from Cornell.

David W. Butler, dean of the school of Hotel Administration, said in a press release that Cornell “aggressively recruited some of the most sought after analysts … to sit on these panels.”

A similar conference, “Hospitality Industry Strategy Conference — Europe,” is set to take place in London in May. The March 21-23 conference was co-sponsored by Hotel Business and Hotels Magazine.

Archived article by Stacy Williams