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Cornell Study Finds That Well-Designed Hotel Energy Saving Treatments
Do Not Diminish the Guest Experience;

Study Tested Reduced Television Power Levels and Alterations in Bathroom Lighting
in Guest Rooms by Surveying 192 Guests of the Hotel Statler

Ithaca, NY, March 7, 2011 – In one of the first empirical studies of the effects of energy saving treatments on hotel guests' satisfaction, Cornell University researchers have found that carefully designed conservation treatments do not diminish the guest experience. The study, sponsored by Philips, was conducted at the Statler Hotel, the four-diamond hotel operated as a teaching and research laboratory by the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Conducted by Associate Professor Alex Susskind and Professor Rohit Verma, the study tested reduced television power levels and alterations in bathroom lighting in the guest rooms. The study, "Hotel Guests' Reactions to Guest Room Sustainability Initiatives," by Alex M. Susskind and Rohit Verma, is available at no charge from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at Philips is a CHR senior partner.

Alex Susskind, Ph.D.

Rohit Verma, Ph.D.

"We replaced the CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) in the bathrooms with LEDs (light emitting diodes)," said Susskind, "and we tested four different power levels for the LCD televisions. If the guests noticed these changes at all, they still gave the guest rooms positive ratings. They seemed equally pleased with the CFLs and the LEDs in the bathroom."

Susskind and Verma's study surveyed 192 guests of the Statler Hotel, asking them a series of questions about the room features, including the lighting and televisions. They found no statistical difference in the guests' ratings of the four television power levels or the two different lighting styles. A quick, back-of-envelope calculation estimates a savings of $6,000 for the 150-room Statler, if the televisions are set at the lowest power level.

"Our study revealed one other finding that may be a surprise to some," added Verma, who is CHR executive director. "We asked these guests whether they would consider paying a higher rate for a room with sustainable features, and 45 percent said yes, although we did not specify a particular room rate. At the same time, once again we found that the respondents would not choose a particular hotel or hotel brand just because of its commitment to sustainable operations."

Meet and interact with Alex Susskind and Rohit Verma, active members of the executive education faculty, at the School of Hotel Administration, when they present sessions in the Professional Development Program:

Thanks to the support of the CHR partners listed below, all publications posted on the center's website are available free of charge, at

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 81 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, SAS, 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., HVS, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Maritz, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Schneider Electric, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., Thayer Lodging Group, Thompson Hotels, Travelport, and WATG

Center Friends: • American Tescor, LLC • Argyle Executive Forum • Berkshire Healthcare • Center for Advanced Retail Technology • 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 • International CHRIE • International Hotel Conference • International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) • iPerceptions • JDA Software Group, Inc. • J.D. Power and Associates • Lodging Hospitality • Lodging Magazine • LRA Worldwide, Inc. • Milestone Internet Marketing • MindFolio • Mindshare Technologies • PhoCusWright • PKF Hospitality Research • The Resort Trades • Resort and Recreation Magazine • • Shibata Publishing Co. • Synovate • The Lodging Conference • The Wall Street Journal • The TravelCom Network • Travel + Hospitality Group • UniFocus • USA Today • WageWatch, Inc. • WIWIH.COM • Wyndham Green


The Cornell School Of Hotel Administration
537 Statler Hall
USA - Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-255-9780

Jane Henion

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Also See:
Cornell Report Outlines Six Step Process on How to Develop a Destination Brand; Student Team Created Plan for Marketing and Branding Zambia as a Tourism Destination / January 2011

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