Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has confirmed that the company’s newest product is Airbnb Plus, which piloted earlier this year under the name Airbnb Select, and offers more than 2,000 curated Airbnb home listings in 13 cities globally which meet a checklist of standards for quality and safety.
Airbnb Plus listings have met a 100-point quality checklist including design and fast wifi, and although not necessarily more luxurious than other properties they generally charge higher nightly rates, reflecting that 73% of guests when asked said they would pay more to stay in a verified home.
The addition of Airbnb Plus to the Airbnb platform is a sign that Airbnb is no longer simply a cheaper alternative to a hotel but is becoming more like one. This year the company hopes to have a total of 75,000 Airbnb Plus homes in 50 destinations globally.
Other initiatives announced include a new loyalty program set to launch this summer offering discounts, exclusive listings and other perks, and the categorisation of listings into Airbnb Collections making properties easier to find by type, including homes for families and business travellers, weddings, honeymoons, groups and dinner parties.
Also launching is Beyond by Airbnb, Luxury Retreats’ existing inventory and Airbnb Trips, to take on AccorHotels’ Onefinestay luxury alternative accommodations brand among others.