Airbnb has announced a major new addition to its online hospitality and tourism platform: a premium service designed to help the company better compete with hotels, simply called ‘Airbnb Plus.’
“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,” states Airbnb Plus’ official website. “All Airbnb Plus homes are visited in person to ensure comfort, consistency, and design. They are checked for 100-plus things that guests told us they love, from must-have amenities to the art on the walls.” Airbnb says aspiring Plus hosts must have a rating of 4.8/5 or higher in order to apply.
The service goes live today in commemoration of the platform’s 10th anniversary. The initial 2,000 listings will be spread across 13 cities worldwide, including Toronto (the only Canadian city in which Plus is available for the time being).
“We are excited that Toronto will be one of 13 markets globally that is launching Airbnb Plus, a new tier offering beautiful homes and exceptional hosts,” an Airbnb representative told MobileSyrup.
“Ten years ago Airbnb created a new phenomenon in travel, offering a local, unique and authentic way to experience the world as an alternative to commoditized mass tourism. Looking forward to the next ten years, we want everyone to be able to experience this way of traveling.”
To be eligible for Plus, a host must pay an application fee of $149 USD (approximately $190 CAD) and submit to a thorough investigation by an Airbnb inspector and photographer, who will be sent to the home to take professional-quality photos for the listing and ensure that the location complies with a new 100-point quality checklist.
Places that qualify for Plus will receive higher placement within Airbnb’s internal search rankings, plus premium customer support options and a host of additional bonuses to make application more appealing for high-ranked property owners.
In addition to Plus, Airbnb is also adding a suite of new categories of listings; allowing properties such as mobile homes, vacation estates, hotels/boutiques and even treehouses to be more easily-discovered by adventurous users.
The company also announced plans for an even more premium tier than plus, tentatively titled ‘Airbnb Beyond.’ Beyond will launch this spring and focus primarily on the high-end real estate which Airbnb acquired last year with its purchase of the Montreal-based Luxury Retreats service.
You can check out more details on Airbnb’s upcoming services on the official website.