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Airbnb introduces Airbnb Plus and a new service for luxury travelers

Airbnb is about to get a lot fancier. 

Today, the company is introducing two new services aimed at more high-end experiences and luxury travelers: Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb, part of a suite of updates the company announced as part of an effort to make “Airbnb for everyone.”

Airbnb Plus is essentially a high-end version of the company’s existing service. It’s a new tier that’s “intended for guests looking for beautiful homes” and “exceptional hosts,” according to the company. In order for a listing to qualify for this new tier, it has to pass a 100+ point inspection from an IRL Airbnb employee.

It’s not necessarily more expensive than other listings — CEO Brian Chesky said the average price is less than $250 a night — but with Airbnb Plus, the company guarantees a minimum level of quality, like a well-stocked kitchen, fast Wi-Fi, and comfortable bedding. It also comes with a premium customer support, which should make it easier for guests to reach the company should something go wrong.

It also comes with a few extra advantages for hosts, Airbnb Plus homes are ranked higher in search and have a dedicated section in the app. Hosts need to pay a one-time fee of $149 to apply for the program. 

Airbnb Plus is available now, beginning with 2,000 homes in 13 cities. 

The company also introduced Beyond by Airbnb, a new travel service that offers curated experiences that include luxury accommodations as well as custom “experiences.” Set to launch later this year, it’s the product of Airbnb’s acquisition of Luxury Retreats. Homes that are part of beyond are among Airbnb’s mot high-end homes: beachside villas and mountaintop mansions.

The news is Airbnb’s latest foray into experiences that make it more like a conventional hotel company. Chesky said the goal of the new services are meant to make Airbnb appeal to all travelers, not just those looking for budget-friendly hotel alternatives.

Airbnb also announced a new “Superguest” program: the company’s answer to hotel membership programs. Similar to its “Superhost” program, it offers extra perks to a small selection of the company’s top users.

Airbnb is also adding new ways to make it easier for users to navigate its site. They’re adding four new “categories” of listings: vacation homes, boutique, B&B, and “unique” (these would be the company’s more offbeat listings, like tree houses and house boats).

Users will also be able to browse the site by “collections,” lists of homes that are rated 4.8 and above that are optimized for certain types of guests, like families and business travelers. 

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