Airbnb to launch new initiatives for future growth

Ashley Carr
February 25, 2018

San Francisco-based Airbnb is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with some changes to its platform.

The roadmap includes the addition of two new tiers of Airbnb properties: Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb, which represents a big investment in luxury travel.

"We are excited that Toronto will be one of 13 markets globally that is launching Airbnb Plus, a new tier offering handsome homes and exceptional hosts", an Airbnb representative told MobileSyrup.

Airbnb's new service - dubbed as Airbnb Plus - is being promoted as a more standardized service, which is "verified for quality" and comes equipped with the facilities that are usually found in a hotel.

He said it recognises hosts who go above and beyond to provide outstanding hospitality.

Airbnb Plus is just one of several new features announced today. A press release announcing the new partnership said: "Guests can expect the locally influenced and unique accommodations they expect when booking an Airbnb listing". Unlike many online publications, we don't have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.

"Ten years ago Airbnb created a new phenomenon in travel, offering a local, unique and authentic way to experience the world as an alternative to commoditized mass tourism". Beyond by Airbnb will offer custom designed trips, including "the world's finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality".

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"We literally test the Wi-Fi in every single Airbnb Plus home", Chesky said, implying that the company will do a thorough check of homes in the program, of which there are now 2,000. Airbnb is launching nine exciting new collection in total but the family and work collections are available beginning today.

A new tier called "Airbnb Plus" will be an elite category where hosts pay $149 (£107) to be inspected to ensure they meet strict criteria on everything from the comfort of the mattress to the speed of the Wi-Fi.

The Airbnb Plus hosts and guests will be privy to a dedicated support team. Chesky noted that Superguest will launch initially to 10,000 guests as a trial this summer before being rolled out to Airbnb's wider guest community before the end of the year.

It will cost hosts $US149 to join and hosts will benefit from top placement and in-home services such as design consultation and professional photography.

The company is also launching Airbnb Collections, a way for groups of travelers to rent homes that fit their needs.

This new Airbnb Plus feature is meant to weed out more hum-drum homes from the kinds of homes Airbnb would more like to stand out. When the Super Guest program gets off the ground later this year, it will offer 10,000 guests access to special benefits such as airport pickup and exclusive activities.

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