Skip to main content


If you want to be the most progressive and innovative hotel management school, you have to dare to look ahead.

Our Academy of International Hospitality Research (AIHR) provides insights about developments that impact the industry, and contributes to improving education in hospitality. Multiple times per year, AIHR publishes the journal ‘Research in Hospitality Management’.

Academy of International Hospitality Research

The Academy of International Hospitality Research (AIHR) is the research unit of the Hotel Management School at NHL Stenden. With campuses in the Netherlands, Qatar, South-Africa, Bali and Thailand, the the Hotel Management School at NHL Stenden is probably the largest and most cosmopolitan hotel school in the world. This profile and position of Stenden HMS offers AIHR a truly international platform for doing research. The AIHR synthesizes the activities of the two Professorships (lectorates) of the Hotel Management School at NHL Stenden in order to make them stronger than they independently could be. You can read about our research integrity here.

Latest research news


Webinar: The Future of AI – Hospitality & Tourism Perspectives

Hotel Management School Leeuwarden and European Tourism Futures Institute bring together some of the leading thought leaders about the future of Artificial intelligence (AI). Today, AI improves the customer experience,…

Webinar Circular Economy in Tourism and Hospitality with Garden Hotels Mallorca

Last year, our research lecturer Dr Lucia Tomassini and Dr Elena Cavagnaro took the lead in establishing the Special Interest Group (SIG) focused on ‘Circular Economy and Circularity in the…

How do you get Gen Z to your hotel? 5 tips from a hospitality expert

“Competition and market forces are fierce in the hospitality sector, while consumer expectations just keep on rising – and your accommodation has to meet all these needs,” says Rodney Westerlaken,…

The team

Members of the research group are lecturers at NHL Stenden and professionals working in the field, whose responsibility it is to ensure that the research has practical relevance. They provide input by suggesting research topics and sharing relevant findings of their research with businesses and other organisations, while the lecturers incorporate the findings in their classes.

MBA , Academy Director Hotel Management School at NHL Stenden

Marco ten Hoor

Marco is a hospitality professional pur sang who is known and recognised in the (inter)national hotel industry and in the professional field. Through his jobs as General Manager at the Stenden Hotel learning company and as Director Hospitality & Business Development at Hotelschool The Hague he has played an important role within Dutch hotel education during the past two decades. "I feel very proud and honoured to be able to make a contribution to the further development of the most international hotel school in Europe and especially on the development of employees and students in both the international hospitality branch and in the education sector” according to Ten Hoor.

Klaas-Wybo van der Hoek, Vice-President Executive Board “We congratulate Marco with his appointment. Partly due to his passion for education and in-depth knowledge of the hospitality industry we are convinced that Marco can make a great contribution to the hotel school Leeuwarden. We are confident that he will successfully position and expand the Academy both nationally and internationally. The 3000 students and 150 employees at Hotel Management School at NHL Stenden are getting an enthusiastic and inspiring change manager and a real expert. He will also create and maintain the connection with our international branches. The Academy's programmes are also offered at almost all our international campuses.”

The hotel school educates the future hospitality professionals in close cooperation with the professional field. Together they make an important contribution to a hospitable world. Ten Hoorn, as a member of the Advisory Councils of various branch organisations and board member / secretary of Buitengoed Fredeshiem, is closely involved with the developments within the sector. “Marco has his own approach and has a good insight into what students need in operational and management functions within hospitality and other service industries", according to Van der Hoek.

Professor of Applied Sciences Sustainability in Hospitality and Tourism

Dr. Elena Cavagnaro

Elena Cavagnaro was born in 1963 in Rome, Italy. She studied classical philosophy in Rome and Naples, and later at the VU University in Amsterdam. There, she got her doctoral degree in 1996. Her philosophical background turned out to be a good basis for her career at Stenden University. In 1997, she started there as a teacher of (business) ethics at the Retail Business School. During this time, she started her research into sustainable entrepreneurship in the service industries. From 1999 to 2008, she worked on developing the Master of Arts in International Retail Management. In 2004, Cavagnaro was appointed lecturer in Service Studies. In addition, she teaches sustainable development and leadership at Stenden. Together with George Curiel, Cavagnaro authored the book ‘The Three Levels of Sustainability’. It was published in 2012 and became a bestseller. The vision of sustainability described by the authors in this work is at the basis of the lectureship’s research.

Inauguration speech
At her appointment as lecturer in 2004, Cavagnaro gave an inauguration speech (pdf).

CV Professor Dr. Elena Cavagnaro

Research Group members:
Femke Vrenegoor
Sarah Seidel
Simona Staffieri
Hillegonda Jager – Veenstra (Notiz Hotel)
Dr. Lucia Tomassini short bio & CV
Ernst Jonker
Rodney Westerlaken

Professor of Applied Sciences in Hospitality Studies

Dr. Erwin Losekoot

Erwin Losekoot was born in Purmerend just north of Amsterdam, but has since then lived overseas.
He travelled widely with his parents before completing a BA in Hotel and Catering Management at Strathclyde University’s Scottish Hotel School in Glasgow, Scotland. As a student he completed an industrial placement at the Amstel InterContinental Hotel in Amsterdam. On graduation he worked in the Purser’s Office onboard P&O Cruises sailing to Alaska, Mexico and the Caribbean before returning to the UK to work for Sheraton Hotels in Edinburgh, Cameron House Hotel on Loch Lomond, and then Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Hotel at London Heathrow airport. He completed an MBA at Edinburgh University and took up the position of the Sir Hugh Wontner Lectureship in Hospitality Management at Strathclyde University in 1999, during which time he also taught on programmes delivered in Iran and Hong Kong. Ten years later he moved to Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand as Senior Lecturer. He taught hospitality management and also completed his PhD in the area of the customer experience of airports. He left AUT to become Academic Head of Programmes at Auckland Institute of Studies. Most recently he was teaching and researching at RMIT University in Saigon, Vietnam. During his academic career he has published 24 refereed journal papers, presented over 30 refereed conference papers and published three book chapters. Most of these have been about the nature of hospitality and how we can make places and people more hospitable. He is on the editorial board of one academic journal and reviewed papers for many others. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. When he was a young academic he witnessed the publication of Professor Conrad Lashley’s early work on the meaning of hospitality, and is therefore excited to be following in his footsteps now.

Research Group
The Hospitality Studies research group includes Professor Losekoot (please click on this link for his CV), Associate Professor Dr. Hanneke Assen (please click on this link for her personal information and her CV) and the Hospitality Studies research group members Dr. Anne Keizer and Georges El Hajal.

Associate Professor in Design Based Hospitality Education

Dr. Hanneke Assen

Hanneke Assen was born in Avereest, The Netherlands. In 1989 she graduated from the Stichting Lerarenopleiding Ubbo Emmius with a Bachelor Degree in Health Sciences and in 1992 in Business Economics.  In 1994, she started as a Senior Lecturer Business Economics at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and encountered problem-based learning (PBL) a learner-oriented approach to teaching and learning. As a lecturer she noticed that she and other teachers, even after more than 25 years of experiences as PBL tutors, struggle with developing and applying pedagogical-didactical strategies to support students’ self-directed, constructive and collaborative learning processes. This insight became the starting point for her Masters study, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and post-doctoral research.

She completed her Master in Learning and Innovation in 2011. Her Master thesis focused on the dialogue in education. She graduated cum laude. This master thesis can be seen as the groundwork for her PhD research and post-doctoral research.  She completed her PhD with the title “From a teacher- to a learner-oriented approach to teaching. The role of teachers’ collective learning processes” in 2018. After her PhD, she started with the post-doctoral research with the title “Activators for Change: Moving to Design Based Education”.

The Associate Professorship Design Based Hospitality Education is one of the research lines of the professorship Hospitality Studies. In addition, the associate professor is a member of the research group of the professorship Design Based Education.

CV Associate Professor Dr. Hanneke Assen

Research Group members:
Dr. Marte Rinck de Boer
Macmillion Fernandes MA

Research lecturer & NHL Stenden Counsellor Research Integrity

Dr. Marte Rinck de Boer

My background in the Geisteswissenschaften has a long lasting influence on my research interests and approach to qualitative research. Moreover, I consider myself a critical qualitative researcher.

I obtained a Master (cum laude) in German Studies from the University of Groningen (1986) where I also took the minors Musicology and  Greek and Roman culture and history.

Partly financed with a scholarship obtained from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, I studied at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich (Germany) between 1983 till 1986. Here, I wrote a master thesis on the use of the Middle Ages text of Tristan and Isolde in Richard Wagner’s Gesamkunstwerk with the same name. Furthermore, I wrote a second thesis about the role of German short stories in teaching literature in secondary education.

I taught text interpretation at the University of Groningen and was appointed as teacher for German language at the Hotel Management School Leeuwarden in 1987. I feel privileged and proud as well that I was a member of the pioneer team that built up the school from scratch. During these years, I developed my knowledge in the field of social constructivist education, in particular with a focus on Problem-based Learning. I conducted several studies on experiences and perceptions of students and of tutors in PBL

In 2015, I obtained my PhD from the university of Humanistics in Utrecht. I investigated a Dutch school innovation with an anthropology based approach to participant observations informed by the work of social anthropologist Tim Ingold (2013). I identified the hidden forces of utopian and ideological thought in educational innovation, concepts developed by late knowledge sociologist Karl Mannheim in his seminal work Ideology and Utopia (1936) in which he analyses these forces in the construction of society.

I am a member of the AIHR research network formed for and by Research lecturers (RLs) and Stenden HMS teaching staff who are engaged in doing research. My research projects include Problem Based Learning, innovation in education and lifelong learning; human beings and making meaning in organization, emotional and aesthetic labour in Hospitality Industry.

Furthermore, I am interested in Nomadic inquiry and reflexivity in research; in complexity thinking; in the work of the late political theorist Hannah Arendt and the contemporary German sociologist Hartmut Rosa.

Currently, I teach research with a focus on qualitative research at SHMS BA and MA program, and I supervise research project in both programs. Furthermore, I teach and coordinate the research line at the Master Learning and Innovation program of the NHL Stenden academy of Education.

Download here more information

Lecturer, Researcher and Student Coach

Georges El Hajal

Georges El Hajal is a Lecturer, Researcher and  Student Coach. Born and raised in Beirut – Lebanon, he holds a BA in Hospitality Management from the Lebanese University, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management and a MA in International Service Management from London Metropolitan University and NHL-Stenden University of Applied Sciences. He is a Chartered Member (MCIPD) of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential-holder from the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of the Academy of International Hospitality Research (AIHR) and the Institute of Hospitality (IoH).

He has many years of hands-on Human Resources Management experience in international Hospitality Management and the Service Industry (Lebanon, the Netherlands, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Kurdistan – Iraq), and in the humanitarian world with the International Committee of the Red Cross Geneva (ICRC) doing field missions as Finance, Administration and Human Resources  Manager in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and the Philippines and as a Protection Delegate in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

His research interests focus on strategic human resources management and human resources technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics and their impact on today’s and tomorrow’s employees; their well-being, productivity, and development. Georges is also interested in the future of hospitality jobs and has published papers on the topic.

In alignment with his expertise and research interests, Georges teaches human resources management, organizational behaviour and strategic human resources management in NHL Stenden Hotel Management School’s Bachelor and Master’s Program. He is also an Expert and an Atelier Facilitator part of the School’s new Design Based Education Curriculum.

As an Industry Placement Coach, Georges collaborates closely with industry partners and coaches students from the application process throughout their ten-month placement in Amsterdam. As a research supervisor, Georges supervises Master’s Theses within NHL Stenden Hotel Management School.

Member Research Group AIHR

Dr. Anne Keizer-Remmers

As a young student, I studied German Language & Literature at the University of Groningen (RUG) and obtained my master’s degree based on two theses. In the first I looked at the aspect of Dreaming in Arthur Schnitzler’s novels and I compared his literary work with that of his Zeitgenosse in Wien at the Fin de Siècle, Sigmund Freud. My second thesis was on the use of typography in Brecht’s Dreigroschenroman. At the RUG, my minors were Pedagogy and Didactic Methods as I wanted to become a teacher in secondary school – which happened indeed.

Several years and some schools later I started to teach German at CHN, a rather new Professional University in Leeuwarden for Leisure Management. After many years in which I set up the German language programme and a placement network for Germany and Austria, I switched to ISHML – the international stream of the then Dutch Hotel Management School in Leeuwarden. My reason for this switch was the opportunity to set up a programme for international students. I was fascinated by the diversity, different perspectives and ways of thinking and behaving of those international students, whom I had to teach German, using English as the instruction language. Next, I set up introduction programmes for the international freshmen, an international lounge (Hestia – a home away from home), and Rooms for Prayer. I became an autodidactic in the field of intercultural communication and management, which ultimately led me to start my PhD in 2010. In that same year, I initiated and organized a university-wide staff training programme called ‘Intercultural Sensitivity’. To date, this programme is offered to all staff members.

I defended my PhD called ‘Underneath the Surface of Cosmopolitanism’ in 2017. My study is an example of ‘a living educational theory’ (LET), a concept related to ‘the reflective practitioner’ developed by Prof. Jack Whitehead.  For my research, I used a new participatory visual socioanalytic methodology called Social Photo Matrix (SPM) and worked with photographs produced by students, the participants in the study.  The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions that students hold on the philosophical concept of cosmopolitanism that was adopted by their professional university and translated into the university’s strategy. Moreover, I wanted to discover and reveal the participants’ inward images of their (cosmopolitan) educational institute by tapping into their unconscious minds and feelings, bringing hidden dynamics to the surface through collective viewing, associations, amplifications, systemic thinking and reflection. (

I joined the Research group Hospitality Studies at NHL Stenden University in the spring of 2019. My research interests are aimed at the crossroads of Hospitality, Cosmopolitanism, and (Inter-)cultural studies – for instance Halal Tourism, Diversity & Inclusion in Hospitality, Hospitality and Intercultural Competence, Hospitality within the concept of Global Citizenship, and altruistic Hospitality through Meeting the Other, inspired by cosmopolitan values. Currently my students are doing research on ‘Hostmanship’, a newly adopted concept by Stenden Hotel Management School which is yet hardly explored academically.

Publications and Paper presentations:

Keizer-Remmers, A. & Brandsma-Dieters, A. (2019): Global Mind Monitor — determining intercultural competencies of Stenden Hotel Management School students: Setting the Research Agenda. Forthcoming in: Research in Hospitality Management, 10 (1) December 2019.  Advance online publication.

Keizer-Remmers, J. L. C. (2017). Underneath the Surface of Cosmopolitanism. In Search of Cosmopolitanism in Higher Education. Delft: Eburon Academic Publishers.

Keizer, A. (2017, October). Underneath the surface of Cosmopolitanism: Employing Social Photo Matrix to access the social unconscious of students in Higher Education. Paper prepared for EuroChrie conference in Nairobi, Kenia.

Meijer, K., Keizer, A., Odekerken, A., & Hoefnagels, A. (2015, October). Intercultural competence, global citizenship or cosmopolitanism? No tower of Babel if hospitality educators join forces. Paper presented at the EuroChrie Experience Conference on 16 October 2015 at MMU, Manchester, UK.

Research lecturer

Dr. Wichard Zwaal

Areas of interest and expertise: Hospitality Management Education, Problem-Based Learning, Professional Research, Psychology of Hospitality Management, Organizational Behavior, Assessment, Conceptual modeling, Applied Data Analysis and Statistics, SPSS, Academic Writing, Service Management.

Read more information

Office Manager

Regina van der Meer