Airbnb have unveiled their biggest set of changes so far, as the startup shift further from their humble house sharing roots.
New changes include the further integration of luxury hotels and properties, which now have their own dedicated section, and further regulation of private homes. Regulation will broadly appeal to more high-net-worth travellers who seek the same level of service at a private home as they’d expect at a hotel.
Much like their Superhost programme, Airbnb have now also introduced ‘Superguest’; a loyalty scheme which will seek to retain frequent users with discounts, and added perks including flight upgrades and VIP lounge access.
A shift away from the company’s humble roots
The Superguest feature is a membership scheme of sorts, an extension of the platform’s Experiences, which further signifies a push toward luxury for the once boutique private home share facility.
Additionally, Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb have been designed to appeal to new users who wouldn’t typically find staying in a private home appealing.
Airbnb Plus is Airbnb, but regulated. The service will see the top homes inspected by Airbnb and kept in-keeping with brand standards, for things like cleanliness and comfort.
The Airbnb Plus hosts and guests will be privy to a dedicated support team.
Hotels now have their own devoted area on Airbnb
The dedicated area for boutique hotels, and for hotel rooms, marks a distinct divide between the startup’s traditional offering of private stays, and the more conventional hotel booking element.
Airbnb Collections will group hotels in particular categories according to their function; for instance there will be a Honeymoon category and a ‘Uniques’ category for treehouses, boats, igloos and suchlike.
“Airbnb was designed for when we were much smaller,” was the message from Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO at a platform event in San Francisco made to launch the changes.
The push toward a more conventional hotel booking market is twofold. Increasingly, Airbnb territories, including the US, are clamping down on regulation of private stays, and on illegally sub-let rooms.
Reports also claim Airbnb’s new hotels wing is significantly undercutting their direct competitors in the hotel trade, including Hotels.com and Booking.com.
For the full report on the latest changes from Airbnb, view the company’s website