Startup moves toward full-service travel-booking company as it includes brand-new housing categories and guest loyalty programme

Airbnb has been an increase its offering to include hotels, luxury owneds and a patriotism curriculum for guests as the California startup shifts towards a full-service travel-booking company.

Hoteliers and B& Bs have long been registering their rooms on the platform, but the company is adding extra search categories for users who are not looking to rent someone’s home or room.

” Airbnb was designed for when we were much smaller ,” said the company’s CEO, Brian Chesky, on stage at a jam-packed event cavity in the Nob Hill area of San Francisco on Thursday.

The platform, he said , has grown to include 4.5 m plazas to stay, making it difficult to find what users were looking for.

” We have a lot more than shared rooms, private chambers and entire residences ,” he said, announcing brand-new categories for vacation homes, outlet hotel rooms, B& Bs and “uniques”, a classification that includes tree-houses, boats, yurts, igloos and a 30 ft beagle-shaped house called Sweet Willy. The scaffold will also offer curated accumulations of homes for their own families( dwellings that come with toys, books and recreations consoles ), task, honeymoon and group travel.

To reward regular and highly rated customers, Airbnb is also launching a “superguest” loyalty program as a counterpart to its existing “superhost” programme. Superguests will get interests such as rebates, airfield getaways, flight upgrades and sofa access.

A pilot with 10,000 clients starts this spring and it is likely to be wheeled out during the summer.” It’s your passport to a new travelling lifestyle ,” said Chesky.

The company is also adding new luxury ranks, Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb, in an effort to attract high-pitched net-worth customers who may have balked at the idea of staying in someone else’s house.

Airbnb Plus homes are inspected in person by Airbnb for cleanliness, convenience and designing and come with a dedicated support team, seeing the company a direct challenger to the London-headquartered residence rental conglomerate OneFineStay.

Beyond by Airbnb is a standalone site based on the company’s acquisition of Luxury Retreat in 2017. It will furnish high-end properties, including optional concierge services, when it launches in spring.

The announcement comes at a time when Airbnb, much like other ” sharing economy” firms such as Uber, faces legal challenges in cities including New York, San Francisco, London and Berlin. Regulators argue that Airbnb’s short-term rental model drives up rents, generating problems for occupants searching long-term accommodation.

The expanded give will ruffle the feathers of some recess of the travel industry, particularly as the pulpit will significantly undercut the commissions taken from hotels by places such as Expedia and Booking.com.

” If Airbnb wants to enter the hoteling business, then it needs to be regulated, charged and subject to the same safety conformities and oversight matters that law-abiding hotel business adhere to each and every day ,” said Troy Flanagan from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, which has butted thoughts with Airbnb for not playing by the same rules.

Airbnb, which has a its evaluation of $30 bn , needs to show that it can produce new revenue streams before its initial public offering, which could take place as soon as 2019.

In November 2016, the company included “Experiences” to its present, earmarking people to sell tours, seminars, classes and other ordeals on top of hiring out their dwellings. Since then, the company has expanded into restaurant territories as well.

However, a report in the Wall street Journal this week suggested that growing of Know-how has been sluggish as clients are leery of paying strangers for knows such as blindfolded dinner parties. Airbnb said the Event category was growing faster than home rentals did in its first year.

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