Airbnb reveals a new premium, hotel-like service: Airbnb Plus

23 February, 2018, 06:47 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • Airbnb is estimated to be worth $31bn

In August of previous year, Chesky tweeted that Airbnb had listings for 15,000 boutique hotels, about 10 months after introducing them to the platform. Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, took to the stage, here at the The Masonic Auditorium, to dispel any notion that Airbnb is bound to become a routine OTA.

Airbnb yesterday unveiled additions to its home-booking system, including new tiers targeted at luxury travellers, as guests and properties become increasingly varied in the past decade since its founding. So, why the change now?

Airbnb is shaking things up at a time its growth has been slowing, a trend the company would like to reverse before it sells its stock in an initial public offering expected within the next two years. Over the last 10 years, Airbnb hosts earned more than $41bn and guests have checked into an Airbnb more than 300 million times. Starting this summer, there will be four new categories: Vacation Home, Unique Space, B&B, and Boutique. Today, Airbnb is one of the world's largest accommodation platforms with 4.5 million places to stay in 81,000 cities. "Looking forward to the next ten years, we want everyone to be able to experience this way of traveling".

The company is also debuting what it's calling "collections", in which some homes that have good reviews are grouped by why customers often rent them like family events or work travel.

To help guests find exactly what they are looking for, Airbnb has added four new property types to its platform.

The new tier is likely to appeal to people who may have been unwilling to use Airbnb in the past because of the company's lack of quality control, as the cleanliness and appearance of the property has always been largely down to the host.

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Among the competitors is American Mirai Nagasu , who in the team competition became the first USA woman to land a triple axel. The bronze is her third Olympic medal overall-she won a bronze in the Super-G in 2010 to go along with the Downhill gold .

Finally, Airbnb is redesigning its website to include more personalized collections for travelers to choose from.

The service is launching today to mark Airbnb's 10th anniversary. Airbnb will also make it easier for boutique hotels and bed-and-breakfasts - once its arch enemies - to list their rooms on its online booking site. It will be live with more than 2,000 listings across 13 cities, including Austin, Barcelona, Cape Town, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Milan, Rome, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney, and Toronto.

To meet the needs of these various groups, Airbnb has launched Collections, which provides guest the "perfect homes for every occasion".

It will offer people who rent their homes through the tier in-home design consultation and expert photography, but did not say if there was a cost associated with the services or listings. Beyond by Airbnb will offer custom designed trips, including "the world's finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality".

It also comes with a few extra advantages for hosts, Airbnb Plus homes are ranked higher in search and have a dedicated section in the app. Hosts need to pay a one-time fee of $149 to apply for the program.

Frequent business travelers often have accumulated massive piles of reward points (and maybe have bigger travel budgets) and may be accustomed to this, and there's also plenty of opportunity to target the same kinds of experiences that something like an Atlantis full-service resort in the Bahamas might offer (with water slides and all).


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