Previously piloted for two years as Airbnb Select, Airbnb Plus is looking to take the ‘alternative’ out of alternative accommodations as its 2,000 verified “beautiful homes” with “exceptional hosts” in 13 cities around the world make homesharing more professional and blur the line with a traditional hotel.

Verification includes a home inspection, professional photography and adherence to a 100-point checklist along with a $149 application fee, and research among users shows that 73% would pay more to stay in a verified home.

The challenge now for Airbnb to grow is to build standards and consistency into Airbnb Plus, across continents and types of property, while preserving the uniqueness of hosts and their homes. The aim is for 75,000 Airbnb Plus listings in 50 cities worldwide this year, and the company claims to have received over 20,000 applications to join Plus in one month.

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