Airbnb reveals ‘superhosts’ and membership scheme as it targets one billion guests

Airbnb reveals ‘superhosts’ and membership scheme as it targets one billion guests

Home sharing accommodation pioneer Airbnb is setting out ambitious plans to handle one billion travellers in ten years time by better supporting key hosts and recognising regular guests with a membership scheme.

Following last year’s acquisition of Luxury Retreats, a new standard in travel is being previewed called Beyond by Airbnb.

This will offer customised “trips of a lifetime,” including the finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality, according to Airbnb.

A ‘superhost’ scheme, which includes 400,000 worldwide, will have 14 new and updated benefits added including better exposure, custom urls and exclusive benefits on smart home products.

Airbnb will also recognise its most loyal guests with a new membership programme offering benefits across the entire trip.

‘Superguest’ will launch initially to 10,000 guests as a trial this summer before being extended to Airbnb’s wider guest community before the end of the year.

A new strategy for company’s core homes business is designed to bring the “transformative benefits” of local, personal and authentic travel to every type of traveller.

It includes:

•Four new property types – Vacation Home, Unique, B&B and Boutiques (in addition to existing Entire Home, Private Room and Shared Space)
•New tiers – Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb
•Airbnb Collections – homes suited to every occasion

The company, established ten year ago by co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia with three airbeds in their San Francisco apartment, now offers 4.5 million places to stay in 81,000 cities.

Chesky, chief executive and head of community, said: “Ten 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 ten years time, more than one billion people per year will experience the benefits of magical travel on Airbnb.”

Currently it is only possible to navigate by three property types – Shared Space, Private Room and Entire Home.

A further four are being added to the platform – Vacation Home, Unique Space, B&B and Boutique – to give greater choice and transparency over the types of accommodation available.

Airbnb is making tools available to hosts to categorise their listings to an “unprecedented level of detail in the travel industry”.

This opens the door to sophisticated search capabilities that will allow travellers to find the host and home that’s right for them.

All seven property types will launch to guests this summer. A Collections category will cover accommodation capable of handling families and groups.

To broaden the appeal of Airbnb to more people, a new tier of homes is being introduced that have been personally verified for quality and comfort.

Starting with 2,000 properties in 13 cities, Airbnb Plus homes have been inspected and verified in person against a 100 point checklist covering cleanliness, comfort and design.

Airbnb Plus hosts benefit from top placement, in-home services such as design consultation and expert photography, and premium support.

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