Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. Tabacchi

Mary Tabacchi

Professor Emerita, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration

Mary Tabacchi, PhD, RD is a Professor Emerita, at Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration and Johnson School of Management. She was a long term employee teaching in Cornell's Division of Nutritional Sciences in 1972 and as a research associate in Post- Harvest studies in Plant Science until 1978.

Dr. Tabacchi entered academic spa work in the early 1980s, working with Deborah Szekely at the Golden Door & Rancho La Puerta and Jerry Cohen and Mel Zuckerman with Canyon Ranch as well as with Sheila Cluff at the Oaks at Ojai. At Cornell University she helped found the Cornell Institute of Healthy Futures.

Dr.. Tabacchi is a Founder and member of Board of Advisors for Global Wellness Summit, Founder and Member of the Board of New York Spa Alliance, Founder and former Board Member of ISPA, Member of the Board of Green Spa Network and Advisor to the Ronald McDonald House in NYC. She and her students have completed projects with Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental, Banyan Tree, Hilton, Four Seasons, Six Senses, Mirbeau, Red Door Spas, The Spa at Norwich Inn and Mohonk Mountain House.

Dr. Tabacchi taught the first academic spa development course in 1987 and also the first academic Corporate Wellness Course in 1988. As a nutrition educator, she taught biochemical nutrition in Cornell's Division of Nutritional Science and Healthful Cuisine at the Hotel School. She still mentors students and former students, world- wide.

Dr. Tabacchi is an ardent hiker, power yogini, world- wide adventure traveler having hiked in Tanzania, Grand Canyon, The Greek Isles, Provence in France, Israel and Jordan, Sailed and hiked in the Galapagos and mid- June will hike to 15,000 ft in the Andes and descend to Machu Picchu.

Please visit http://www.cornell.edu for more information.

Dr. Tabacchi can be contacted at +1 607-255-3458 or mht3@cornell.edu

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.