Breakout Session: Alternative Accommodations: Are they really alternative? With demand for Alternative Accommodations like AirBnB increasing annually, how can hotels tap into this change in the marketplace? Should hotels try to fight AirBnB? MJ Paschall, Senior VP at AKA, a portfolio of luxury extended stay residences, added that alternative accommodations are being redefined by professionally managed companies that have the ability to curate unique experiences and build long-term relationships with customers that will keep them coming back for more. Service, from her perspective, is a huge differentiator and that Alternative Accommodations have evolved far beyond couch surfing. She concluded by recognizing the importance of customers that come for business but stay for leisure. Another point raised was the importance of early engagement prior to arrival for extended stays. This opens up a dialogue with the guest to learn more about the reason for the stay and how it could be enhanced. One of the panelists cited the “Purple M&M Test”. For example, if you are traveling as a family and your kids love purple M&M’s than this is an opportunity to surprise and delight. Get the full story at HEBS Digital