The line between Airbnb and your average hotel is thinning

by Frankie Norman February 23, 2018, 3:29
The line between Airbnb and your average hotel is thinning

The Airbnb plus homes have been personally verified for quality and comfort by hosts and past guests.

This will give guests more options in types of accommodation, and hosts will also be better able to showcase what's unique about their listings. Rather than just booking a hotel at a luxury resort you find on TripAdvisor, Airbnb is trying to build the credibility that it can offer unique experiences you won't find in those hotel environments - whether that's a tiny apartment in the middle of Shinjuku, Japan, to a lovely condo in the middle of Ponta Delgada in the Azores.

"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", reads the company's website for Airbnb Plus.

The company will also add an "Airbnb Plus" tier, which includes homes that have been verified for quality and comfort, and a "Beyond" tier for luxury trips. It could make Airbnb more of a hub for discovery for people looking to travel overseas with customized experiences and a more robust array of options for homes. The platform will also offer curated collections of homes for the family (homes that come with toys, books and games consoles), work, honeymoon and group travel. Airbnb will choose a selection of listings from highly rated hosts and vet the properties, provide professional photos and help the hosts get their listings up to snuff.

Airbnb said that within an hour of the Airbnb Plus announcement, more than 1,000 people applied to be part of the program. In comparison, Airbnb users are generally reliant on the accuracy of the original listing and other visitors keeping that honest with their post-stay reviews.

"The number one thing our Superhosts ask for is more promotion, visibility and exposure", Chesky said. Details about the program, called Superguest, are sparse at the moment, but a release from Airbnb says a pilot version will be available to 10,000 members this summer and to the wider user base by the end of 2018.

Last year, Chesky asked on Twitter what a guest membership program should look like. "It's your passport to a new travel lifestyle", said Chesky.

In November 2016, the company added "Experiences" to its offering, allowing people to sell excursions, workshops, classes and other experiences on top of renting out their homes.

Not everyone is as enthusiastic about Airbnb as Airbnb is.

"Airbnb's latest scheme is just further proof the company is trying to play in the hoteling space while evading industry regulations", said Troy Flanagan of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

"Over the years the types of properties on the platform have become increasingly diverse, from treehouses to boutique hotels", Airbnb wrote.

The AH&LA and Airbnb have always been at odds, with the former campaigning for a level playing field.

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