US: Airbnb has launched two new services: Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb.
Airbnb Plus will include homes that are verified for “quality and comfort,” and is launching with around 2,000 properties. “Airbnb Plus [properties] are all the comforts of home, plus more. These are beautiful homes, from exceptional hosts, and every single one of them are verified for quality,” said Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky.
The company is building a team of inspectors to review properties based on a 100-point checklist covering everything from the speed of the Wi-Fi to the comfort of the bedding. Properties that fail can still be part of Airbnb’s regular listings; the company will also offer advice on improvements to qualify. The program will initially cover properties in 13 cities – Austin, Texas; Barcelona, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa; Chicago; Los Angeles; London; Melbourne, Australia; Milan; Rome; San Francisco; Shanghai, Sydney and Toronto. By the end of the 2018, Chesky foresees verifying 75,000 homes in 50 cities.
Beyond by Airbnb is a luxury service, based around whole trips including hospitality, custom experience and higher-end homes.
Following Airbnb’s 2017 acquisition of Luxury Retreats, it will launch the service that offers “custom designed trips of a lifetime” to high end guests.
To reward regular and highly rated customers, Airbnb is also launching a “superguest” loyalty programme as a counterpart to its existing “superhost” programme. Superguests will get benefits such as discounts, airport pickups, flight upgrades and lounge access.