Airbnb launches Airbnb Plus to tap into luxury travel market

By Laura Mullan
Airbnb has announced a new premium service called ‘Airbnb Plus’ in its latest move to tap into the luxury hospitality market. Aimed at more discern...

Airbnb has announced a new premium service called ‘Airbnb Plus’ in its latest move to tap into the luxury hospitality market.

Aimed at more discerning travellers, the new high-end tier program includes listings that have been verified by the company for “quality and comfort.”

With amenities similar to that of a hotel, there are currently 2,00 Airbnb Plus homes that span 13 cities including London, Los Angeles, Rome, Shanghai and Melbourne among others.  

By the end of the year, the Californian company has promised that 75,000 homes across more than 50 cities will be certified. 

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Each and every listing will have to meet a set of 100-point checklist which certifies that the home is "comfortable, well equipped, well-maintained and thoughtfully designed."

This criterion specifies that home must be tidy and attractive, with interiors which add to the aesthetics of the home and demonstrate the host's personality.

It must also offer at least eight coathangers and an empty drawer for clothing as well as soft, matching bed linen. 

The checklist also asks hosts to ensure that the space is clean, bright and that "there are no signs of pests." 

What's more, homes must also provider modern conveniences such as Wi-Fi with over 5Mbs download speed and filtered water. 

"Airbnb Plus [properties] are all the comforts of home, plus more,” said Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky at a San Frisco press conferences. “These are beautiful homes, from exceptional hosts, and every single one of them are verified for quality.”

Airbnb Plus homes will cost an average of US$250 per night, according to the company.

The new high-end services has been launched as part of the company's tenth birthday celebrations. 

The lodgings company has also announced that it will expand its ‘Experiences’ service, whereby customers can sign up for local trips such as surfing lessons in Malibu or truffle hunting in Tuscany.

Airbnb said that it is “going to put our foot on the gas” and expand its Experiences service to 1,000 cities this year. 

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Chesky also revealed that it was exploring the concept of launching an airline to help it transform into a “one-stop shop for travel.”

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