In 2008, Airbnb co-founders launched the rental platform with 16 listings. Forward to 10 years, Airbnb today is one of the world’s largest accommodation platforms giving travellers a choice of 4.5 million stay options to choose from spread across 81,000 cities.
Recently, on its 10 years celebrations, Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky said ’10 years ago we never dreamed of what Airbnb could become. In fact, people thought the idea that strangers would stay in each other’s homes was crazy. Today, millions of people every night do just that. But we want to go further by supporting and expanding our community so that in 10 years time, more than 1 billion people per year will experience the benefits of magical travel on Airbnb.’
Airbnb has revealed a Roadmap to bring the benefits of local, personal and authentic travel to everyone. The Roadmap includes:
- Four new property types: Vacation Home, Unique, B&B and Boutiques (this is in addition to existing Entire Home, Private Room and Shared Space options)
- New tiers – Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb
- Airbnb Collections – homes perfectly suited to every occasion
- A new guest membership program launching later this year
New Property Types
While the Airbnb platform today offers more than 4.5 million places to stay around the world, it will now add 4 new property categories to make the search easy for guests. The new categories- Vacation Homes, Unique Space, B&B and Boutique will be in addition to the current 3 property types – Shared Space, Private Room and Entire Home.
The idea is to give guests a larger number of stay options with sophisticated search capabilities to find the right accommodation for themselves and enable Airbnb hosts to better showcase what’s unique about their homes. The 4 new property types will be available to guests this summer onwards.
A decade earlier, Airbnb was mainly designed for solo travellers. However, over the years people have booked stays on the platform to suit a variety of needs, whether that be families booking a vacation villa in Goa who want extra space and a place to cook, to adventurers who are looking for somewhere to stay off the beaten track.
To meet these diverse needs Airbnb is launching Collections – perfect homes for every occasion. Launching today are Airbnb for Family and Airbnb for Work with Collections for Social stays, Weddings, Honeymoons, Group getaways and Dinner parties coming later this year.
New Tiers: Airbnb Plus
To make Airbnb appealing and trustworthy to even more guests, and to recognize hosts who go above and beyond to provide outstanding hospitality, Airbnb is launching a new tier of homes that have been personally verified for quality and comfort. Airbnb already has started with 2000 homes in 13 cities available to book right now. Airbnb Plus homes have been inspected and verified in person against a 100+ point checklist covering cleanliness, comfort and design.
New Tiers: Luxury
Last year Airbnb acquired Luxury Retreats, a premium vacation rental company that also offers concierge service to wealthy globe-trotters. Launching this Spring, Beyond by Airbnb will offer custom designed trips of a lifetime, including the world’s finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality.
Recognition: Investing in the Airbnb Community
Airbnb recognises that hosts and guests are the heart of the community. Through its Superhost program Airbnb already recognizes 400,000 of its most loved hosts. Further, the company announced an expansion of the program to offer 14 new and updated benefits to its hosts including better exposure, custom URLs and exclusive benefits on smart home products.
Later this year, Airbnb also plans to induct a loyalty program and recognize its best guests. The Superguest program will launch initially to 10,000 guests as a trial this summer before being rolled out to Airbnb’s wider guest community before the end of the year.
All images courtesy Airbnb