Dr. Kelly Semrad, class of 2010 Ph.D. in Hospitality Education, was selected as the winner of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management’s Outstanding Dissertation Award, 2010-2011.  Her research, entitled “Discounting: An empirical justification for its value in the lodging industry,” is unique in that the topic has not been addressed by researchers.

“The study is among the first to empirically assess the relationship between discounting and performance in a lodging industry context,” explains Semrad.  “It provides a theoretical framework that is practical in its application to assist practitioners.”

Semrad developed a model constructed on lodging managers’ daily operational needs to maximize and increase revenues through the sale of the firm’s core product — rooms. Her research provides managers with a rational “how to” set room prices as opposed to “what they should not do” regarding the use of discounting as a pricing strategy.

Semrad’s dissertation committee included Dr. Croes (chair), Dr. Parsa, Dr. Wang, Dr. Robinson and Dr. Kline.

Dr. Croes shares, “The value to the lodging industry [in Kelly’s research] is real in that hotels’ rooms departments are the primary revenue producers for the firms.  Without the sale of room nights, a hotel firm would collapse.”  Croes heralds Semrad’s research as the first empirical manuscript that evaluates the most commonly used pricing strategy in the industry — discounting.

Semrad is now an assistant professor with the University of Florida’s Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management.   She teaches Intro to Hospitality & Tourism Management, Hospitality Management, and Event Management & meeting Planning.

“The required research, teaching, and service [in my current position] is a near extenuation of that required at Rosen,” says Semrad.  “That is certainly a credit to my major advisor, Dr. Robertico Croes, my committee, and Rosen College,” says Semrad.