Airbnb wants to be ‘for everyone’ with new categories, premium tiers

Airbnb Plus homes verified based on criteria including cleanliness, comfort and design; Plus listing in Shanghai

For a startup that began in 2007 with just two air beds, Airbnb has gone a long way – and a lot more ambitious – as it marks its 10th year of founding with plans to go “Plus”.

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.

Airbnb Plus homes verified based on criteria including cleanliness, comfort and design; Plus listing in Shanghai pictured

Launching to guests this summer are four new property types – Vacation Home, Unique, B&B and Boutiques. The four will join the existing three categories of Entire Home, Private Room and Shared Space. Airbnb said the seven core property types will provide greater transparency and easier search by guests over the types of accommodation available.

Airbnb also rolled out the new Airbnb Plus tier. Airbnb Plus homes have been inspected and verified in person against a 100+ point checklist covering cleanliness, comfort and design. Hosts in this tier would benefit from top placement, in-home services such as design consultation and expert photography, and premium support.

Airbnb Plus is available for booking, beginning with 2,000 homes in 13 cities.

Another new tier is Beyond by Airbnb, which launches this spring. Beyond by Airbnb will offer custom designed trips, including “the world’s finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality”.

To cater to different travel purposes and occasions, Airbnb has launched Airbnb for Family and Airbnb for Work. Four more categories rolling out later this year, namely, Collections for Social stays, Weddings, Honeymoons, Group getaways and Dinner parties.

Airbnb has also revamped its Superhost programme and will launch a new guest membership programme later this year.

The enhancements outlined in its new roadmap, Airbnb said in a statement, is expected to put it on a path to more than one billion annual guests by 2028. Over the last 10 years, guests have checked into an Airbnb more than 300 million times.

“Ten years ago we never dreamed of what Airbnb could become. In fact, people thought the idea that strangers would stay in each other’s homes was crazy. Today, millions of people every night do just that. But we want to go further by supporting and expanding our community so that in 10 years time, more than one billion people per year will experience the benefits of Airbnb,” said Airbnb co-founder, CEO and head of community, Brian Chesky.

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