Increase Your Brand Site Bookings with The Billboard Effect

When it comes to online distribution, hotels typically prefer to sell rooms through their own websites. Third-party sites, particularly those of online travel agents (OTAs), tend to be seen as competitors in terms of distribution—even though OTAs are instrumental in filling rooms that might otherwise go unsold.

When hotels are able to increase brand-site bookings by listing with an OTA, they are essentially tapping what’s called the “billboard effect.” This reservation benefit enables hotels to quickly tap wider markets through alignment with the right third-party OTAs.

For example, Intercontinental Hotel Group listed their properties on Expedia during the summer months of 2009-2011 and saw increases between 7% and 26% in reservations through their own channel. And remember: These are brand-site reservations that are increasing, not reservations made on the OTA sites.

Dr. Chris Anderson, an associate professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, had published a small test of the billboard effect’s on the hospitality industry in a 2009 Center for Hospitality Research study. Now Anderson is back with a new and considerably larger analysis. And it confirms the power of the billboard effect in gaining additional brand-site bookings for hotels listed with OTAs.

Click here to receive both the original and expanded research studies from Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research and learn how you can quickly increase your brand-site bookings through OTAs.


Recapping the Effect of Online Reputation on Revenue

Last week, Revinate and eCornell co-hosted a webinar that outlined five ways hotels can improve their online reputation. By measuring their reputation management efforts, involving the entire operations team, and tying compensation rewards to reputation achievements, hoteliers will see improvements in their overall guest satisfaction scores and, in turn, will receive higher review ratings. In case you missed this informative session, you can listen to the recording and view the presentation deck.

As our Cornell University co-host published in a recent study, proactive online reputation has a direct impact on your hotel’s revenue; their Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) report shows that a one-point increase in a hotel’s average user rating on a 5-point scale makes potential customers 13.5% more likely to book that hotel. Moreover, hotels with great online reviews can charge more than those that do not rate as high. Finally, hotels that use social media for service and engage in the space to surprise and delight customers earn more positive guest sentiment scores, which positively effects hotel revenue .

As mentioned during the webinar, eCornell has, in partnership with Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, developed 14 professional certificates and 38 courses in hospitality management. Among them is the new Hospitality Marketing & New Media Strategies for Revenue Growth. This course in new media marketing, called Marketing the Hospitality Brand through New Media: Social, Mobile & Search, is free and open to all.

Revinate received a number of questions that came in during the session via live Twitter chat that are answered in greater depth here:

How again can property management be awarded bonuses or compensation benefits for better online reputation?

By paying close attention to Revinate‘s guest satisfaction (Gs2) reports, hotels can leverage aggregated hotel review data to set goals for hotel staff to meet across all functional areas. Overall guest sentiment scores, for example, can make a valuable incentive for hotel general managers. Department heads could be awarded bonuses based upon departmental sentiment, while front desk managers could be given goals around response time or social media management. To learn how social media will change hospitality compensation plans, have a look at our blog post on the topic.

What are some ways that hotels can involve their entire hotel team when it comes to online reputation management?

A few ideas that we covered during the webinar included having your front desk employees engage with guests on social media to maintain responsiveness or offering spot bonuses to employees who are recognized by name in online reviews. To ensure that all employees see this feedback, one of our webinar attendees shared that her hotel posts all positive reviews in employee elevators, locker rooms and cafeteria. Ideas like these will guarantee staff involvement and engagement.

Is there any data available that is focused on the limited service or economy hotel sectors? A lot of the studies discussing the relationship between online reputation management and property performance seem to focus on the luxury segment.

While the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research study showed a direct relationship between revenue per available room and online reputation scores, the report did not include the economy segment. Nevertheless, the study showed that revenue grew by chain scale from the top down: A 1% boost in reputation led to a .49% increase in RevPAR at luxury hotels, .74% at upper upscale, .83% at upscale, 1.13% at upper midscale and 1.42% at midscale. Moreover, about 20% of Revinate’s 15,000+ customer base fall into this limited service segment and firmly believe that online reputation is equally, if not more important, in the category.

re-posted via the Revinate blog.

7 Ways You Can Use Vine to Market Your Hotel

It’s been nearly a month since Twitter launched its new video-sharing mobile application Vine, and it’s not just individuals taking advantage of these six second looping video clips, companies and hotels are joining in this new marketing opportunity too. This app, which is currently only available for the iPhone and iPod touch, allows users create videos which can be straight shots or stop-motion format (which is very popular) with no editing capabilities. Similar to Instagram, the videos can be tracked by hashtags and subject matter as well as Vine’s 12 organization categories such as food, travel, and even how-to.

In just a few weeks, one of the major groups to attach to the new app is not surprisingly travelers, many posting brag-like videos of how great their hotels are. Six seconds can capture an entire tour from the front of your building, through the lobby, into the bar, into the room, and even a view from the balcony. Of the 30 or so videos I watched, at least ⅔ of them showed the bathroom amenities.

So how can you use Vine to market your hotel?

1. Virtual Tours

Make them yourself or encourage your guests to make them and tag your hotel to show off your space. You can do this with your different guest rooms, ballrooms, dining facilities, and even fun things to do around the property.

2. Welcome Message

Record from the point of view of an arriving guest to show prospective customers what a warm welcome you give the second they arrive at the front of the building.

3. How-To

Serving a special drink at the bar or specialty dessert at dinner? Try filming a short “how-to” make it and post it for all your guests so they can take their experience home with them.

4. Daily Menu

Why just post your beautiful nightly specials in just the printed menu? Why not show them off in a short series of styled stop motion videos to give guests something to think about all day?

5. Weather Reports

First thing in the morning, hop outside and film a few views from your hotel to show what it’s going to be like outside that day.

6. Contests

Ask your potential guests to submit their own Vine videos under a certain theme like “what is love” or “fun in the sun” and award the best video with a weekend getaway.

7. You: Behind the Scenes

Take the opportunity to show off your employees doing what they do best. Show off a little personality and you will humanize your brand and give customers a reason to connect emotionally with you.

While it is just starting to find it’s legs in a crowded media market and it’s unknown whether it will stick around, Vine is quite an entertaining opportunity to engage with your customers. Have you already jumped on the bandwagon? How are you using Vine? Or, if you’re new to the game, how would you use it to market your hotel?

Responsive Web Design, Demystified


The explosion of the mobile and social media channels and the emergence of the new tablet channel present a major challenge to hotel marketers: Creating and managing digital content across three distinct distribution and marketing channels (desktop, mobile, tablet), as well as publishing the hotel’s latest special offers and promotions on the hotel’s social media profiles.

Over the past few years, industry experts have projected staggering growth rates in leisure and unmanaged business travel bookings via the mobile channel: from $753 million in 2011 to $1,368 million in 2012 (PhoCusWright), and have advised hoteliers repeatedly to embrace the mobile channel.

And yet, a careful analysis of industry statistics and projections reveals a very interesting picture that not all hoteliers fully understand: The majority of “mobile” bookings, room nights and revenue are generated by tablet devices such as the iPad, Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus, not by “pure” mobile devices like the iPhone and Android- and Windows Mobile-based smartphones.

According to Google’s data, 7% of all searches now come from tablets, vs. 14% from mobile devices and 79% via desktops (2012). Google projects hotel queries from tablets will increase this year by more than 180%, while queries from mobile devices will jump by 68% and desktop searches will decline by 4%.

Online travel consumers and Internet users in general exhibit a variety of behavioral patterns when browsing the Internet. For all practical purposes, the desktop, mobile device and tablet address different needs at different times of the day and week. According to Google, users searching Google utilize:

  • Desktop during the day (office)
  • Mobile during lunch break + happy hour
  • Tablet later in the evening when lounging, i.e., the tablet is a “lounging” device

The New Multi-Device World Requires New Solutions

In this multi-channel, multi-device world in which we live, hoteliers are overwhelmed by the variety of marketing and distribution channels and devices on which they need to establish and maintain a presence. It is difficult for many properties to keep their “old fashioned” desktop website up-to-date, let alone  the three different versions of the property website necessary today to accommodate the unique usability and content requirements in each of the three distinct device categories: desktop, mobile (smartphone) and tablet. This is why some hoteliers are becoming receptive to the “one site fits all” solution promoted by some web design vendors.

Many web development vendors with no experience in hospitality have been promoting Responsive Web Design (RWD) as the recommended approach to provide optimal viewing experiences across a wide range of devices, from desktop to smartphones. Coined by author and web designer Ethan Marcotte back in 2010, RWD has become a favorite sales pitch topic in the industry of late.

In my view, for content-rich and revenue-focused websites like the hotel website, fitting the desktop website into different screen sizes, achieved via traditional Responsive Web Design (RWD), is not good enough.  Just imagine using simple responsive design and trying to fit Marriott’s desktop website ( and all of its 22,700,000 pages indexed by Google onto the iPhone 4S’ 640×960 screen, or even into the iPhone 5’s 640×1136 screen. Or fitting all of’s 22,200 pages into a Samsung Galaxy S’ 480×600 screen. Obviously, this is an unmanageable task.

Hotels should serve the correct website content for each device category (desktop, mobile, tablet) while ensuring the maximum user experience, relevancy of information and conversions. This is achieved via RESS (Responsive Design on Server Side), the next generation of RWD. This is why here at HeBS Digital, we do not use simple RWD capability for content-rich, revenue-driven hotel websites. We recommend the use of RESS instead.


The main difference between RWD and RESS is the type of web content served in the different devices: desktop, mobile (smartphones) and tablet. The traditional responsive design (RWD) will serve the desktop website across all devices while attempting to optimize the “viewing” experience. This may work for some small, non-revenue focused websites.

Responsive design on the serve side (RESS) will serve different content on different devices thus addressing not only the viewing experience, but also the critically important issues of relevancy and type of information presented to the user, and the visual presentation of the hotel product; while achieving maximum user experience, conversions and website revenue in the process.

Further analysis of online travel consumers and the unique characteristics of each of the “three screens” explains the need for specialized content on each device, and why fitting the desktop website into the smartphone screen or the hi-res touch screen iPad is not a smart idea after all:

Desktop users

The traditional “desktop” travel consumers need as much information as possible, including a minimum of 25-50 content pages per property and another 50-100 specialized marketing and landing pages featuring special packages, promotions, and events. Desktop users also place high value on visual galleries with photos and videos, customer reviews, and other in-depth information.

Mobile Users

The always-on-the-go mobile traveler requires short, slimmed-down content with an emphasis on property location, area maps and directions, real time “smart rates” and availability, an easy-to-use mobile booking engine, and a click-to-call property reservation number. Due to usability and security issues, six of every ten mobile bookings actually happen via the voice channel. Very few people are comfortable entering their credit card information into their iPhone in a public place. Very few hotel mobile websites provide an alternative to guaranteeing your booking without entering your credit card.

Tablet users

Tablet users require deep, visually enhanced content about the property and its destination. A well-structured, highly visual hotel tablet-optimized website can generate conversion rates several times higher than those of mobile devices. In contrast, tablet users have no issues booking a hotel via their device. A well-structured, highly visual hotel tablet-optimized website can generate conversion rates several times higher than those of mobile devices. Across HeBS Digital’s hotel client portfolio, tablets generate 200% more room nights and 430% more revenue than the “pure” mobile devices:

Sources of Traffic and Bookings by Device Category in 2012































Apple’s iPad rules the tablet world: More than 91% of tablet visitors, 96% of tablet bookings and 98% of tablet revenue come from iPad devices.


The desktop, mobile and tablet devices and their respective marketing and distribution channels should be treated as separate device categories. Three distinct device categories constitute the “Three Screens” to which hoteliers should pay special attention in 2013: desktop, mobile and tablet.

In 2013, upgrade your website technology to the next generation of Content Management System (CMS) to enable:

  • Management of desktop, mobile and tablet website content (copy, photos, special offers, events and happenings) via a single centralized dashboard.
  • Adopt Responsive Design on the Server Side (RESS), which enables specialized/different content to be served on different devices – addressing not only the viewing experience, but also the critically important relevancy of information and visual appeal of the hotel product, and achieving maximum user experience and conversions in the process.
  • Use analytics tools such as Adobe Omniture SiteCatalyst to determine contributions from and the dynamics of each of the three channels.

Of course, all three device channels must be integrated in the hotel’s multi-channel marketing strategy.


DealAngel Offers Hotel Pricing Intelligence to Other Sites

DealAngel Offers Data for B2B

DealAngel may be best known for allowing consumers to search for hotels and compare the prices to hotels with similar market value to ensure they are really getting the best deal before buying. They are now causing quite a buzz over their recently launched new API that adds an interesting B2B element that Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and “daily deal” websites will love. While still in beta and private, social trip planner Gogobot has already integrated DealAngel’s new API, but it should go fully public by April.

What Does it Do?

While many hotels often offer “30% off today, what a deal!,” no one really knows the true value if compared to similar hotels or what you would normally pay on any given day. It may not even be a deal at all when compared to its true market value. With this new option, sites can build DealAngel’s technology into their own, letting consumers know if it is actually a deal they are seeing, or just your regular ‘ol “always discounted” rate.

  • OTAs can actually rank their hotel offers by how good the deal really is
  • “Daily Deal” sites will be able to check that “30% off, what a deal” out to verify if it actually is a good deal before adding it to the day’s list
  • Hotel wholesalers or bulk rate negotiators could compare their offer from a particular hotel with historical data

It’s certainly an interesting move for DealAngel, but potentially a very lucrative one. In the age of “deal fatigue,” consumers are going to want to know just how good their deal is compared to all the others and this new API could offer that solution.

Source: TechCrunch originally published “DealAngel Launching API to Let Other Sites Build Hotel Pricing Intelligence into their Wares” – Please see their article for more detailed information on this topic.

5 Best Practices for Managing Online Feedback

What a difference a few years make in your reputation

When I started working at Revinate in 2010, I spent a lot of time speaking to hoteliers about why it is so important to monitor online feedback and proactively engage with guests over social media. At the time, less than 4% of hotels were responding to online reviews and many hotels weren’t even reading their public guest feedback, let alone using social media in a business capacity. At the time, the research didn’t exist to show the impact that reviews make on booking decisions but over the last couple of years many studies have been published that leave very little doubt as to the importance of online reputation management.

In 2010, TripAdvisor and Forrester began polling consumers about the impact of management responses. The results showed that for the majority of consumers, a management response to a bad review is reassuring and that all things being equal consumers would book with a hotel that responds to reviews versus one that remains silent. TripAdvisor now reports that hoteliers now respond to 25% of new reviews. And, in 2012, Cornell Center for Hospitality Research published a study that put the impact of great ratings into perspective for revenue managers – – hotels with great reviews can charge more than those that don’t rate as high. While intuitive, the study was a big wake-up call for many who have been waiting for a serious ROI study before dedicating time and resources.

Today, the conversation has shifted from why it is so important to manage online feedback to the best ways to operationalize this data and measure it. Working with more than 15,000 clients across 120 countries, I see a lot of different practices around online reputation management. Following are my top 5 best practices, most of which were rarely seen a few years ago.

1. Get serious about measurement

In 2012 I saw many hotels getting serious about understanding the impact of online reputation management to their own bottom line. I saw tremendous presentations by clients, such as qualia in Australia, who used the multi-channel funnel in Google Analytics to measure the direct traffic and assisted conversions from TripAdvisor. In the case of qualia, with dedication to responding to reviews and focusing on improving quality ratings, the team drove 7% more revenue in 2012 than in 2010 and 2011 combined.

2. Show me the money

We all know that what gets measured gets done and what gets compensated gets done the quickest. Many management groups are now including online reputation metrics in employee and management compensation plans. Traditionally, management compensation packages have been based on factors such as market share, financial performance, traditional comment cards or guest satisfaction surveys and staff satisfaction. But what these measurements fail to account for are the factors that are driving real booking decisions today such as TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index, online review ratings, management response rates and social media engagement.  If you’re not already doing it, start setting goals and rewarding your hotels that do a great job. Then invite me to your next GM’s gala and I will happily give out the online reputation award for 2013.

3. Involve the right people

This best practice may sound obvious, but for a long time, many hotels had one or two people responsible for reading and responding to online reviews and they largely acted in a vacuum. Today, many hotels involve all teams in the process of monitoring feedback, responding to reviews, engaging guests and ensuring that feedback is used to improve the operation of the hotel. Many hotels and portfolios are forming committees to review feedback or ensuring that the leading issues from online reviews are presented during weekly stand-ups and action items are assigned to the people empowered to resolve the issues.

4. Use social media for service recovery

The press still likes to cover stories about Twitter being used at hotels for service recovery, so it’s clear that these types of engagement are still few and far between. Given the real-time nature of Twitter, actively monitoring your account gives you the best chance of nipping an issue in the bud, before it becomes a full-blown PR nightmare. The New York Times covered the story of basketball star, Chipper Jones, who was unhappy with his room at a large hotel in New York and took to Twitter to complain. Luckily, the hotel, a Revinate client, was monitoring Twitter and saw the complaints in real time. With a process in place to deal with guest complaints, they dispatched an engineer who went right up to his room to take care of the issues.

Another best practice for Twitter is to monitor the Twitter hash tag of any group meetings or conferences taking place in your hotel.  Doing so will allow you to monitor the comfort of your guests, and as a result, the satisfaction of your clients. Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego has made this a practice at the hotel and has caught issues around temperature and wi-fi in real time, leaving the clients floored by the hotel’s responsiveness.

5. Surprise and Delight

While engaging on Twitter and Facebook provides many ways to forge tighter bonds with your guests, there is nothing like merging the virtual world with the real-world by sending an old-fashioned amenity to the rooms of guests that check-in on foursquare, tweet positively about the hotel, or post photos to your Facebook page while they are on site. These surprise and delight tactics go a long way towards driving loyalty and word-of-mouth about the great service at your hotel. I have been the recipient of many fruit plates, cupcakes and bottles of wine as a result of my tweets and I never fail to take a picture to share with my network, praising the hotel for its great hospitality.

As we move deeper in 2013, I am looking forward to seeing these programs put into practice by more hotels. With real-benefits and hard ROI to back you up, we wish you good luck as you delve deeper into a new frontier.

What’s in Store for Hotels in 2013

Recently, the team at Web in Travel asked Sabre Hospitality President and General Manager, Felix Laboy, for his 2013 reflections and predictions. Felix has also appeared in eCornell’s Ask the Expert segments for our Free New Media Course for Hospitality Professionals.

What are the three things you think will happen in the hotel space in 2013?

• RevPar will continue to grow, driven primarily by continued demand and decelerating supply. Price pressure created by the unprecedented shopping capability of consumers will direct hotel investment towards converged and interfaced technology solutions that support micro adjustments to ARI and cascade to all electronic channels seamlessly. Channel connectivity will continue to be critical.

• Mobile device activity for hotels will approach 50% of all electronic shopping activity (think all mobile devices or non-desktop  and not just mobile phones).

• Hoteliers will require integrated distribution and marketing technology in order to support the increasing convergence of these disciplines and rise of ancillary selling strategies.

What are the three things hotels should invest in for the new year?

Invest in solutions that will:

  1. Increase profitability;
  2. Maximize efficiency;
  3. Enable the personalization of your guest’s complete experience.

In our space that certainly means investing in better booking solutions, including a device responsive solution as a brand standard. The ability to engage and serve consumers consistently across all devices globally will be paramount.

Also, consider investing in attribution modeling to supplement current tracking and measurement tools.  The key to managing a constantly evolving digital media space is the ability to truly understand contribution of each media channel or touch point vs. just costs or outcomes.

What are your predictions for hotel distribution and marketing next year?

The continued shift towards convergence of Revenue Management, Demand Creation (marketing) and Distribution will be the biggest trend to watch in 2013.

Non-room inventory will become more important to hotel brands.

Innovation around points of sale will encourage Hoteliers to adapt distribution and marketing strategies

Which hotel groups are the ones to watch next year, and why?

Hotel groups to watch are those that continue to focus on customer service and use technology (pre-stay/during the booking process, during the stay and post-stay) to help them provide a better all around experience for the guest.  The web and social media facilitate greater transparency and consumer empowerment. Personalization and recognition delivered in the travel experience has become an (consumer) expectation.

Three important events that happened this year that you think will have significant impact on travel in the future.

• Apple’s increased level of interest in the travel market.
• Continued Political Unrest in the Middle East.
• Fast-growing middle and upper class in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) who are embracing (far) travel.

Most over-used word/s of 2012?

Mobile, Social Media, SoLoMo: There has been too much focus on the new buzz topics – these tend to get over-discussed and explored, often times leading us to neglect the basics of distribution and digital marketing.

Google: We’ve all heard continual concerns from the hotel industry on Google’s intent to become a travel merchant. Google will continue to provide consumers with the best search results and try to monetize advertising, remaining a referral partner to the hotel industry and not a merchant of record

Most under-estimated word/s of 2012?

SEO: A well-optimized hotel should be seeing 50%+ in organic search traffic – too little time is being spent discussing and leveraging this channel. There is a lot of potential in a strong SEO strategy and it deserves the continued buzz in the marketing world.

Ancillary: The airlines have established their approach to ancillary revenue with consumers and smart hoteliers will embrace this opportunity in a manner that will support their brand position and profitability. All inventory sets (hotel restaurant seats, spa beds and retail) will find their way into the broader distribution and marketing landscape.

What word/s will disappear from the hotel vocabulary?

“OTAs are the enemy” – OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) have a critical place in any hotel distribution and marketing strategy – what is critical is to manage them with a holistic view of all true costs by channel and also impact they have on other channels and vice versa.

As the year winds to an end, what will you remember most about 2012?

2012 was the year that hotels started to question whether technology should be a core competency internally or a service that can be successfully outsourced.

What are you most looking forward to in 2013?

Taking a holiday with my family.

Communicating in Circles: Why This is Good for You

Within the last ten to fifteen years, new media channels have exploded into the daily lives of the hospitality consumer. There are now dozens upon dozens of new ways in which we can communicate with our customers, not just market to them.

It’s no longer that you as the hospitality marketer come up with a brand, come up with a way in which to symbolize or communicate that brand, choose media channels, and send that message out to our target customers. That’s a very linear approach, or presentation-based marketing communications. With new media, in particular social media, the nature of that communication has really evolved, and it’s now something where the consumer has much greater control over that message and of the brand itself. We call this consumer-generated influence or consumer-generated media.

In other words, marketing communications now is much more circular. You have to think not only about how you can influence the consumers’ perceptions of your brand, but also how they’ll influence others by interacting with your brand in their own social channels. Will they tag their location while on your property? Will they mention what a great time, what a beautiful lobby, what great food, etc. while they are there? Upload photos of your property to their friends? This is where the opportunity for dialogue between the brand and your customers comes alive.

Responding to Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor posts and the like gives you an opportunity to directly communicate your brand to your customers as well as learn more about how they perceive your brand and what they expect from it.


Is New Media Even Relevant to the Hospitality Industry?

New media in hospitality marketing is not evolutionary; it’s revolutionary. And its growth hasn’t been linear; it’s been exponential.

In the year 2000, less than 5% of hotel room revenue was booked online in the United States. By 2015, that number will balloon to over 35%, more if you include bookings by business travellers using mobile devices or their own PCs and even event attendees using software provided by the event organizers or the venues themselves.

In addition, Google became a publicly traded company in 2004 and today it represents more than 90% of search activities by users. Then in 2010, Facebook actually overtook Google in the number of weekly U.S. visitors. And finally, I’ll bet you have a mobile device in your pocket or on your desk right now, and a tablet in your possession or at least on your wish list.

New media (social, mobile, and search) is everywhere. It’s in the pockets, purses, desks, and living rooms of your potential consumers, helping them make decisions about their next purchase.

By leveraging these new connections to the target market, you are offering potential consumers the opportunity to engage with your brand in a more complete way than was previously available.  You are allowing customers to essentially “try” your product or property before even buying. For example: hotel web sites have evolved from kind of of the Web 1.0 version of online brochures to much more interactive sites where visitors can take virtual tours to explore property, they can play games, they can engage in virtual activities such as taking the participant’s view as they go down a water slide, or even watch short movies. Because there are so many new ways to connect with customers, creativity and uniqueness can be strong tools to set you apart from your competition.

New media is indeed relevant to the hospitality marketing industry. It is how you are going to project, promote, and protect your brand. And it is how you are going to capture more than your fair share of the desired target market.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts and eCornell Sign a Two-Year Partnership

Global hotel group continues long standing relationship to offer online learning with eCornell

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has entered into a two-year agreement to continue its partnership with eCornell to deliver online courses in hospitality management, leadership, strategic management, supervisory skills and human resource management to its worldwide employees.

eCornell offers Starwood access to courses developed by Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration that align closely with their talent-management approach.  Offering these and other courses helps Starwood achieve its learning goals on a global scale at both the property and corporate levels.

eCornell’s unique approach to elearning combines the most effective elements of a world-class, Ivy League classroom with the flexibility of an online learning environment. eCornell courses—self-paced and 100 percent online—are “instructor-facilitated” to help guide a cohort of 20 to 30 participants through challenging, real-world exercises with practical on-the-job application. Classes enable learners to be immersed in learning that also fosters collaboration, interaction, and networking.

“Starwood continues to be a great partner of eCornell, and we’re approaching almost 10 years of success together,” said Tom Abogabal, vice president of global sales at eCornell.  “We are thrilled to continue our partnership to be able to help Starwood reach thousands of employees across its worldwide portfolio of owned, managed, and franchised properties, and to help develop all levels of employees including individual contributors, supervisors, managers, GMs, and senior leaders.

About eCornell

eCornell, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cornell University, provides many of the world’s leading organizations with online professional and executive development in the areas of leadership and management, human resources, financial management, healthcare, marketing, and hospitality management. eCornell’s proven course development model and asynchronous instructor-led course delivery provide for engaging, rigorous, and interactive learning. The company has delivered online courses to more than 50,000 students in over 200 countries. For more information visit (enterprise buyers) or (small groups and individual students).


About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world, with 1,128 properties in nearly 100 countries and 171,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts, and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and ElementSM. The company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades, and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit