Airbnb Plus, as the new tier of properties is called, will focus on quality assurance and work to rid customers of unpleasant surprises during a stay.
Airbnb announced key changes in its leadership team early this month and said that it won't launch a share offering in 2018. 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 addition of these new categories give guests more options while allowing hosts to be more transparent about their rentals, the company said. After the update, which will launch in winter, the site will be adding four new property types to help travellers find the right space for their trip, 'Vacation Home, ' 'Unique Space, ' 'B&B, ' and 'Boutique'.
Airbnb will also add options of Airbnb for family and Airbnb for work.
Airbnb was originally designed for "when we were much smaller", Chesky said. Airbnb has always been known for its diverse mix of properties - which is often reflected in their rates per night. 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 attractive condo in the middle of Ponta Delgada in the Azores. Beyond, Airbnb's luxury arm, will offer travellers "custom-designed trips of a lifetime", which would centre around "the world's finest homes, custom experiences, and world-class hospitality" in an effort to cater to those seeking hotel-class standards on their travels. The Luxury tier, called Beyond by Airbnb, is built around whole trips including hospitality, custom experience and - of course - higher-end homes.
Finally, Airbnb is redesigning its website to include more personalized collections for travelers to choose from. Airbnb is adding 11 benefits for them to accompany the seven that already exist.
Airbnb's chief executive, Brian Chesky, is scheduled to announce the news about Airbnb Plus at a news conference in San Francisco this morning at the Masonic, an auditorium in the city's Nob Hill neighborhood.
Last year, Chesky asked on Twitter what a guest membership program should look like. The company says it is "intended for guests looking for lovely homes, exceptional hosts and added peace of mind".
Not everyone is as enthusiastic about Airbnb as Airbnb is.
Data shows Airbnb is complementing the state hotel industry rather than competing with it. If Airbnb wants to enter the hoteling business, then it needs to be regulated, taxed and subject to the same safety compliances and oversight that law-abiding hotel companies adhere to each and every day.
Airbnb Plus won't be the last of the company's drive into more traditional high-end territory, however. In August of previous year, Chesky tweeted that Airbnb had listings for 15,000 boutique hotels, about 10 months after introducing them to the platform.
And it's on the verge of making the company money.