Airbnb launches Plus, higher-end options that have been personally inspected

Airbnb began all the way back in 2007

Airbnb began all the way back in 2007

Airbnb Plus is being marketed as a more standardized style of service that is "verified for quality" and includes a set of amenities one might typically find in a hotel.

"Airbnb Plus is intended for guests looking for lovely homes, exceptional hosts and added peace of mind", the company wrote.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky talking about the company's several new initiatives.

After "disrupting" the accommodation industry, Airbnb is continuing on a path to become more mainstream.

During the past decade, the Airbnb platform has grown to have 4.5 million properties listed.

As online travel agencies like Booking.com move on to Airbnb's territory by offering short-term home and apartment rentals, Airbnb is responding by diversifying its offerings, and opening new lines of business like its "Experiences" product, which launched in November 2016.

"We have a lot more than shared rooms, private rooms and entire homes", he said, announcing new categories for vacation homes, boutique hotel rooms, B&Bs and "uniques", a classification that includes tree-houses, boats, yurts, igloos and a 30ft beagle-shaped house called Sweet Willy. The properties will be inspected and verified by a local photographer sent by the company before they're accepted.

Additionally, the company is expanding its Superhost program with new and updated benefits, including more exposure, custom URLs for their listings and exclusive pricing on smart home devices, starting with a partnership with Nest to offer Superhosts discounted products. This will give greater choice of accommodation options to guests, provide greater transparency over the types of accommodation available, and help hosts better showcase what's unique about them to better match with guests' preferences.

The tools to categorize properties went live for hosts on Thursday and will show up on the site this summer, the company said. Airbnb is launching nine exciting new collection in total but the family and work collections are available beginning today.

"Ten years later", says Chesky.

New Airbnb Collections will offer unique home collections created to match the most popular types of trips travelers are searching for-like, family trips, group getaways and honeymoons.

Airbnb said its Plus offerings would be inspected for comfort, cleanliness, and design, and was said to be "intended for guests looking for handsome homes, exceptional hosts and added peace of mind".

While Airbnb was already a kind of intent-driven service - users probably have a general idea of what they're looking for when they come - this could really go two ways. "Groups that provide mass-produced hospitality, who don't offer belonging, who don't' care about what we care about - they don't meet our standards, and they find somewhere else to do their business". Earlier this month, Airbnb announced a partnership with SiteMinder, a hotel distribution platform used by more than 28,000 hotels around the world.

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