Management of Alternative Accommodation Businesses

A New Era of Lodging: Alternative Accommodations.

The growth of alternative accommodation has been unprecedented during  the Covid-19 pandemic and the hotel giants are getting worried!

  • Do you want to be an integral part of this extraordinary evolution of the hospitality industry?
  • Do you want to become a successful entrepreneur in the alternative accommodation market?
  • Do you dream of managing your own B&B in the centre of a historical town or in the peaceful surroundings of the countryside?

This minor is your chance to discover how you can make your entrepreneurial ambition come true!

Join this course and experience the professional life of alternative accommodation business owners in Tuscany!

The current international trends see an increased demand and offer for informal accommodation establishments. There is also increased interest from the side of the young generations (Millennials and Gen Z) to take ownership and become managers of their own businesses.  

As a student, you will learn about several facets of the management of a small-medium enterprise. The focus will be on those establishments offering alternative accommodation and F&B services. Nonetheless, the gained knowledge can be easily applied to any small-medium enterprises operating in the service industry.

The management of alternative accommodation is quite unique as an academic subject; not many universities worldwide feature a similar course in their curricula, despite the increase of popular demand in this area.


Study start

  • February


  • Leeuwarden


  • English

European credits

  • 15 EC's

Minor type

  • For all bachelor programmes

Subject area

  • Business and Management
  • Hospitality Management
  • Tourism and Leisure

Minor content

The minor will focus on the following typologies of accommodation: 

  1. Agritourism
  2. B&B and Guest Houses 
  3. Scattered Hotel (a model that is very popular in Italy and it is known as Albergo Diffuso) 
  4. Campsites 
  5. Hostels 
  6. Short-term service appartment

The minor will cover the following three broad subjects:  Managing hospitality Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs); Socio-Economic Issues in hospitality SMEs; The Sustainability dimension of hospitality SMEs.

Each subject will be further broken down into themes that vary from Activities and Services (e.g. F&B, Didactics, Sports and Outdoor, Wine tasting and Goods selling), to Economic Impact of Alternative Accommodation on Hospitality and Tourism, to Circular Economy.

Structure of the minor

The Minor will be divided in two units, namely:

  • Unit 1. Business Design Generation and Evaluation (12ECs)
  • Unit 2. Industry Analysis (3ECs)

Students will work with real cases in a group setting.

It is expected that after completing the minor, students demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how a hospitality and/or any service-related SMEs is run and managed. 

Learning outcomes: 

  1. To be able to understand the requirements needed to run and manage a successful small hospitality business (falling in the category of alternative accommodation establishments) 
  2. To be able to write a business plan and to present it to investors or other stakeholders.
  3. To be able to analyse and apply the basic sustainable principles to the business concept design of a small hospitality business.

For the successful completion of this minor, the students are requested to engage in a study load of 420 hours, for a total of 15 ECs. 

The minor will count on the collaboration with the University of Pisa, campus of Lucca. Lecturers and Professors of this Institute will offer seminars on a number of topics that will support students towards the achievement of the learning outcomes of the module. Examples are:

  • Seminar 1. The Agritourism model; how is this run, manged and regulated?
  • Seminar 2. The Albergo Diffuso or Scattered Hotel model; a new sustainable model

Guest speakers and industry experts will be also invited to present and discuss a number of subjects.


Lucca, Italy. In semester 2, a field trip to Tuscany will be offered. This will take place in the week 19 February to 27 February 2022 (Spring-break). The trip is based on a voluntary participation. A minimum number of participants will be required. Students are responsible to purchase their own flight ticket (low cost options between Amsterdam/Pisa/Amsterdam are available). Cost of stay in Lucca (accommodation and meals) + Extras is based on the number of participants.  

Leeuwarden and surroundings. One-day visits to local entrepreneurs, managing small hospitality businesses located in Friesland or in the neighbouring regions may be organized. Costs are limited to public transport when necessary.

Students will make use of the minor module book, of the Content information available on Blackboard and of suggested Books and articles available at NHLStenden Library.


  • After each seminar (compulsory attendance), students will write individually a one-page report on the seminar or a short video presentation on the content.  (LO 1 & 3).
  • At the end of week 8, the students will hand in Business Plan for a hospitality SMEs (existing or fictional). The students will be working in smaller groups of max. six members. Formative and Peer-feedback will be provided to students throughout the module (LO 1, 2 & 3).
  • In week 9, the students will present their Business plan to an audience of experts (lecturers) (LO 2)

Admission requirements

For NHLStenden Students: they must have completed the first two years of Bachelor or Associate Degree program;

For Kies op Maat Students and for Exchange Students, they should have completed the first two years of study at their home Universities.

The content of the minor is transversal and, as such, it is applicable and suitable to a variety of study programmes besides hospitality management (e.g. leisure and tourism, business management, marketing, etc.). 

The minor has been developed with the goal of developing and fostering entrepreneurship skills in tertiary education students. 

Language: English B2 writing and C1 speaking

As the minor has a broad geographical scope, in terms of content and real-world cases used in class, the knowledge of other languages can be beneficial in terms of information search and industry-university network creation (e.g Erasmus funded projects).


Do you have questions about this minor? Ask them via the online form.