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Airbnb To Roll Out Loyalty Program, Luxury Rentals And Upgraded Search

By Shontel Horne

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Airbnb wants to host 1 billion annual guests by 2028, and their latest collections of product features may help them do just that.

During an invite-only press event, the travel tech company’s CEO Brian Chesky revealed a slew of products and features, including tools designed to help travelers better navigate the website and app and a new verified home program. The new features include:

New Property Categories

In addition to the Entire Home, Private Room and Shared Space core property types that are already on the platform, users will now be able to choose from properties that are listed as Vacation Home, Unique, B&B or Boutique. The company has long featured everything from treehouses to castles, but the expanded property type feature will make it easier to locate your ideal accommodations. “These are to recognize the wide variety of types we already have on Airbnb,” says Chesky, adding that users will now be able to get specific about the home they’re looking for. On the hunt for a roomy, dome-shaped home in Seattle with modern design? You’ll now be able to find it in mere seconds. The B&B and Boutique offerings are partnerships with independent hotels that allow users to find rooms at intimate properties.

RELATED: Airbnb Launches Split Payment Feature For Group Travel

Airbnb Collections

Airbnb Collections will feature homes designed to accommodate varying interests and occasions. From families that require accommodations with baby cribs to professionals traveling for work, the Collections feature will help travelers identify the properties that are best suited for their travel situation. Collections featuring properties suitable for weddings, parties, group trips and honeymoons will roll out later this year.

Socia Stays

With Social Stays, a host stays with the guest and shows them around to get the guest more acquainted with the surrounding community. Social Stays are designed to help guests learn more about a new area from the people that know it best, and offers insight into what it’s like to be a local in a new environment. It’s like experiences and rentals rolled into one.

Introducing Airbnb Plus

Starting today, there are new tiers added to the platform to identify the best hosts, which will now be listed as Airbnb Plus. More than 2,000 homes across 13 cities have been inspected by Airbnb staffers and verified in person using a 100-point checklist to qualify for Airbnb Plus, and hosts with the distinction receive better website placement, access to design consultations and professional photography. Guests at Plus properties now have access to newly implemented premium support services.

Airbnb Goes High-End With Beyond By Airbnb 

After acquiring Luxury Retreats, Airbnb was tasked with finding a way to incorporate luxurious home listings and experiences onto the platform. That’s where Beyond By Airbnb comes in. Launching this spring, Beyond will be the best way for users to locate the most lavish mansions, castles and villas in the world, and will feature the finest custom designed experiences that money can buy.

In addition to the revamped property offerings, the company will be restructuring the Superhost program to better support and highlight local hosts and will be providing incentives to host that go above and beyond for guests. On the user side, a Superguest membership program, similar to a hotel loyalty rewards program, will be introduced later in 2018 to a select number of users who will receive benefits like exclusive access to listings and experiences, deals on housing, transportation and discounts on products.

Many of the new products will be rolled out later this year, but users can give Airbnb Plus a try now.

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Shontel Horne

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