Airbnb introduces deluxe products, expanded listings and loyalty program

Airbnb is getting all fancy

Airbnb today announced a new hotel-like tier of service on its platform the company is calling Airbnb Plus. In fact, people thought the idea that strangers would stay in each other's homes was insane.

Meanwhile, Airbnb now organizes rentals into three categories: Shared Space, Private Room, and Entire Home.

(Get your phones ready because the listings already categorized under Airbnb Plus shown at the conference today are pure Instagram gold.) Each home has been verified for cleanliness, comfort/quality and exceptional design.

Homeowners accepted into the Airbnb Plus program would receive "premium customer support" that Blecharczyk said would consist of a dedicated customer service team, primarily consisting of outsourced workers.

10 years ago we never dreamed of what Airbnb could become.

In an interview with Fortune, Blecharczyk, the company's chief strategy officer, characterized Airbnb Plus as the company's most important new feature.

Airbnb also announced a new "Superguest" program: the company's answer to hotel membership programs. After the update, which will launch in winter, the site will be adding four new property types to help travellers find the right space for their trip, 'Vacation Home, ' 'Unique Space, ' 'B&B, ' and 'Boutique'.

"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 magical travel on Airbnb". The addition of these new categories give guests more options while allowing hosts to be more transparent about their rentals, the company said.

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By the end of the year, 75,000 homes in 50 cities worldwide are expected to be listed on Airbnb Plus, Chesky said.

Also unveiled was Airbnb Plus, a tier of homes that provide "outstanding hospitality", according to the company.

While Airbnb was initially designed mainly for solo travel, the ways that guests have used the platform has evolved over the years.

Launched today are Family and Work, and Collections for Social Stays, Weddings, Honeymoons, Group Getaways and Dinner Parties will be coming later this year. The Airbnb plus homes have been personally verified for quality and comfort by hosts and past guests.

Guests can therefore have a peace of mind that these listings are guaranteed to be of excellent quality. "Beyond by Airbnb" goes one level higher with full-on luxury stays that include "the world's finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality".

Airbnb hosts must apply to be part of the program, and a photographer and inspector are then sent to the home to capture professional-quality photographs and inspect the property to see if it meets Airbnb's new 100-point quality checklist.

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