Insights from Dutch hotels
WUAS' Associate Professor Vanessa de Oliveira Menezes recently published two book chapters in the Brazilian book Universidade e Sociedade: por uma construção de cidadania. The book will be published in 2023, but the project started in 2021 and was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two chapters deal with sustainability in hospitality, applying studies in different cases in Dutch hotels.
The first chapter examines the best way to communicate sustainable initiatives in hotels, specifically at the Stenden Hotel in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, where De Oliveira Menezes did her postgraduate research. "According to the findings, guests prefer short, dynamic messages, with a bit of humour," she explains. "Moreover, this information should not be intrusive and should not be provided at times when guests are in a hurry, such as during check-in and check-out."
The second chapter researches the use of toiletries in hotels and focuses on a case study at the Crowne Plaza South Amsterdam, a business hotel owned by Intercontinental Hotels. The hotel planned to replace its small bottles for toiletries with large ones to comply with EU restrictions on certain single-use plastics. The findings showed that most guests were in favour of the new approach because they understood why the change was taking place and preferred brands with more attractive bottles and scents.
De Oliveira Menezes chose these case studies based on the partnership the hotels or hotel chain had with NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, where she worked as a senior researcher in hospitality. The hotels were looking for specific research in these areas, and they contacted her because of her expertise.
She started writing about this topic because the chapters are part of her postgraduate study, which she is currently working on in Leeuwarden, focusing on her research in this area. She wants to continue her research and was lucky to meet someone who offered her guidance on her research: "I found a professor at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences who was also researching the topic," she explains. "I showed her my research ideas and she agreed to guide me on this new project."
Challenges and setbacks
The process of getting the articles published faced some setbacks due to the pandemic. "This book was supposed to be published by the end of 2021, but the publisher did not want to invest in new projects until they were certain about the future."
Normally, when the publisher buys an author's idea, the authors and the editor sign a contract setting deadlines, processes and sales. The editors sell the idea to the publisher, and after approval, they make a formal invitation to researchers who have interesting research on the topics. The authors then send a draft of their main idea to the editors, and if they like the idea, they approve it, and the authors send the final chapter within a few months.
"However, the publishers did not want to invest in new projects until they were sure about the future. It's an investment for them too," De Oliveira Menezes explains. "Even though it was a good time to sell their stock, they were afraid to invest in new projects because the moment was uncertain." This led to this book and its chapters being published in 2023, a year and a half after the original publication date.
Vanessa de Oliveira Menezes' book chapters offer valuable insights into sustainability in the hospitality industry. Her experience highlights the importance of partnerships between business and academia in producing relevant research and offers useful advice for those who want to publish their research in book chapters.
by Niels Otterman