Airbnb has launched two new tiers of service—Plus and Beyond—to appeal to travellers with a bit more spending power. The company announced the news at an event in San Francisco, Calif.
Plus is slightly more expensive than its regular offerings and is expected to include particularly good value and service. Beyond targets wealthier travellers.
To ensure quality, Airbnb personally inspects the Plus listings. They examine the properties for comfort and style as well as relaxing outdoor spaces, fully functional kitchens, and ease of check-in. Airbnb explains on its website: “Airbnb Plus is a new selection of only the highest quality homes with hosts known for great reviews and attention to detail. Every home is visited in person for a 100+ point quality inspection to ensure your comfort.
“Every Airbnb Plus home is one-of-a-kind, thoughtfully designed, and equipped with a standard set of amenities—whether you’re in a private room or have the entire place to yourself.”
The 2,000 Plus locations include Toronto, Barcelona, London, Milan, Rome, Cape Town, Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. The properties cost on average $200 a night (versus $100 a night for Airbnb’s average listings).
Hosts are required to have an inspection during the application process in order to be considered for a Plus listing. They must also have a minimum 4.8 out of 5 rating from guests.
“You can expect a consistent set of amenities you need to live like you do at home–from fast WiFi and televisions ready for streaming to full kitchens with all the cooking essentials,” the company notes.
Beyond is the result of Airbnb’s purchase of Luxury Retreats in 2017, according to DigitalTrends.com. It will feature more luxurious accommodations and will launch in the spring. These listings will be featured on a separate website.
Currently, Airbnb has nearly 5 million listings all over the world. The company is reorganizing its search system to make it easier for customers to find properties such as boutique hotels and bed-and-breakfasts. A category dubbed “uniques” will feature strange and unusual listings, such as a cave or treehouse.