Airbnb unveils new hotel-style service called Airbnb Plus

Airbnb announced a new level of hotel-like service on its platform which the company calls Airbnb Plus. The news is gone live today on the Airbnb website in collaboration with a story in The New York Times ahead of a big reveal event in San Francisco this morning. This confirms rumors that Airbnb is working on a premium accommodation offering that would allow it to more easily compete with hotels. Airbnb Plus is marketed as a more standardized style of service that is “checked for quality” and includes a set of amenities that can typically be found in a hotel.

“Every Airbnb Plus home is one of a kind, carefully designed and equipped with a standard set of amenities, whether you are in a private bedroom or have all the space to yourself,” the website reads. of the company for Airbnb Plus. . “All Airbnb Plus homes are visited in person to ensure comfort, consistency and design. They’re checked for over 100 things customers tell us they love, from must-have amenities to the art on the walls. Airbnb says property hosts should be rated 4.8 out of 5 stars or higher.

The service is launched today to mark Airbnb’s 10th anniversary. It will be live with over 2,000 announcements in 13 cities, including Austin, Barcelona, ​​Cape Town, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Milan, Rome, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney and Toronto. According to The New York Times, the average rate per night for an Airbnb Plus listing will be $ 200, instead of $ 100 for standard listings. Airbnb Plus listings will be editorial organized by the company into listings, and the listings will also receive Plus badges alongside them on the website and mobile app to make them easier to see.

Airbnb hosts must apply to be part of the program and pay a request for $ 149. An Airbnb-hired photographer and inspector are then sent home to capture professional-looking photographs and inspect the property to see if it meets Airbnb’s new 100-point quality checklist. The checklist includes a clean fridge, full kitchen equipment, and stocked toiletries, among many other small and subtle details. The goal, according to Airbnb, is to increase the number of people who use its platform, which has served 300 million customers over the past decade. Airbnb Plus listings will rank higher in Airbnb’s internal search rankings, along with premium customer support options, to inspire top-rated hosts to strive to be a part of the service.

In addition to Airbnb Plus, the company announces that it officially recognizes hotels on its platform, a notable policy change for a technology company that owns the platform that has long viewed the hospitality industry as its bitter rival. . Of course, boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts have long been allowed on Airbnb. But the company now gives these properties an official classification, which Airbnb hopes will make it easier for customers to find these listings on traditional travel sites like Expedia and Priceline.

Like Bloomberg Remarks, the move could be a big win for Airbnb if it can woo boutique hotels with lower fees than standard listing sites. The new categories – which are labeled as vacation homes and B & Bs and join the existing categories of shared room, private room, and full house – will launch this summer. Part of this new category expansion also includes a new ‘one-off’ category for mobile homes, treehouses, and other weird and quirky accommodation that Airbnb is inviting to its platform. Airbnb is also adding what it calls collections, which are more situational categories to help refine searches even further by specifying the occasion, whether it’s a honeymoon, wedding, or event. ‘a dinner.

As part of the global push towards high-end accommodation, Airbnb plans to introduce a more expensive level of luxury than Airbnb Plus, called Airbnb Beyond. The company plans to launch the level in the spring, using the expertise and resources acquired by its acquisition of Luxury Retreats last year. Airbnb Beyond will include “personalized trips of a lifetime” to “the world’s most beautiful homes, personalized experiences and world-class hospitality”.

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