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The EuroCHRIE conference is one of the most important yearly meetings for hospitality academics in Europe. Scholars from all over the world - Africa and the Middle East also pertain to the European Chapter of CHRIE, the Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education - met in Manchester from 14 to 17 October to network and discuss research findings on this year’s conference topic of ‘Experience’.
With keynotes by Joe Pine (The experience economy), Andrea Torrance (Fairmont Hotels) and Professor Kaye Chon (Dean of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University), almost 120 paper presentations and poster sessions, the conference reflects the array of research and educational activities of member schools. While the entertaining but hardly groundbreaking keynote addresses and the heterogeneity in approach and level of the paper presentations reflect the progress of a young academic discipline, the lack of industry presence and input may be considered a serious concern for the academic association.
Hotelschool The Hague was present in Manchester with three paper presentations by members of its Research Centre; all of which attracted a large audience and received positive feedback. Jeroen Bosman spoke about “Unravelling the Power of Customer Delight”, the topic of his PhD research which was also recently covered in an article in Hospitality Management.
Arjan van Rheede’s paper was titled “Circular Economy as an Accelerator for Sustainable Experiences in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry” and sought to challenge and stimulate the discussion within the hospitality and tourism industry to accelerate sustainable development. Van Rheede advocates a holistic approach in which, by applying the principles of a circular economy, hospitality and tourism companies can accelerate their own business and move forward in their thinking and action to create a more sustainable experience for all stakeholders.
Jan Huizing spoke about “Engaging Stakeholders to Co-Create Memorable City Hospitality: Residents’ Motives and Personas”, and more specifically about the exemplary case of the city ambassadors programme ‘Ambassade van Den Haag’. His study analysed four motives amongst the city ambassadors: city pride, wanting to make a contribution, wanting to be a part of the event(s) and using individual competencies (being good at the job). His paper argued that quantitative research confirmed differences in the demographic characteristics of these four different motives, and showed four personas developed to visualise the four types of volunteers. As Huizing concluded, understanding the various types of volunteers and motives can help cities and destinations to design and manage an effective hospitality programme.
Finally, former Director of Hotelschool The Hague’s Research Centre Jean-Pierre van der Rest, who currently lectures at the University of Leiden, presented new outcomes of a study he had initiated while still at the Hotelschool, titled “Revenue Management and Booking Channels: using conjoint analysis to optimise OTA commission percentage”. This study, that received the Eurochrie Best Paper Award, explores the value of the advertising position of a hotel on the OTA’s search results page. Van der Rest had utilised an a/b testing platform together with multivariate conjoint analysis to ask a representative sample of 1.492 respondents to state their booking choices on a fictitious online booking website. The findings indicated that the position of a hotel on the search page of a booking site has significant impact on the likelihood to be booked: the higher the position, the higher the propensity to book, thus confirming the practice of paying higher commissions to booking sites for top slot placements. However, his findings also indicated that hotels can achieve the same level of bookings by reducing the quoted room rate instead of paying a higher commission for better placement. That is, hotels can use conjoint analysis to evaluate and predict whether reducing room rate is preferable over paying higher commission in order to optimise revenue from OTA distribution channels.
Please, visit the conference website for the conference programme and pictures.
If you wish to receive any of the presentations by Hotelschool The Hague researchers, please contact the Research Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org.