On the back of the company's 10-year anniversary, Chesky announced exciting additions that include luxury hospitality and experiences, loyalty programmes for users and detailed product changes that will allow users and hosts to list and search for homes with specific needs in mind.
"People thought the idea that strangers would stay in each other's homes was insane", Chesky said. The four will join the existing three categories of Entire Home, Private Room and Shared Space.
But Airbnb is as much about the guests as it is for the hosts, and Chesky realised that, "Airbnb should get better the more you use it". Chicago's short-term rental ordinance took full effect about a year ago, imposing stricter rules on Airbnb and other short-term rental sites.
Co-founder Brian Chesky said the idea was to provide people with the "trip of a lifetime" and unique experiences with their travels.
Airbnb also announced a new "Superguest" program: the company's answer to hotel membership programs. Now Airbnb will offer four new property types to search from-vacation home, unique spaces (think boats, domes and tree houses), B&Bs, and boutique.
From today, hosts would also be able to sort their listings even more specifically with "thousands" of new categories - for example, "rustic", "artist", "balcony" or even "igloo".More news: Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold
"We are creating the world's largest home database", said Chesky.
While Airbnb was initially designed mainly for solo travel, the ways that guests have used the platform has evolved over the years. Beyond Airbnb tier properties will include some of the finest, most luxurious properties the site has to offer, along with custom experiences.
To ensure the quality of listings in these Collections, those featured have a minimum 4.8 star rating. A New York Times story noted that the service launches with 2,000 homes in 13 cities, including Toronto, Shanghai, Los Angeles, and Milan, and hopes to expand to 75,000 homes in 50 cities by the end of the year.
The Plus service promotes homes that represent a higher-tier of quality, "meet a 100-plus point quality inspection" and are run by hosts "known for great reviews and attention to detail", according to a announcement on the company's website. Additionally, Airbnb Collections will feature curated selections of types of homes for specific travel needs. Following the acquisition of Luxury Retreats past year, Beyond by Airbnb will offer custom-designed trips that include "the world's finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality", said Airbnb.
It will offer people who rent their homes through the tier in-home design consultation and expert photography, but did not say if there was a cost associated with the services or listings.
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