Airbnb launches 'Airbnb Plus' and 'Beyond by Airbnb' aimed at high-end customers

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The hands-on touch built into the Plus program comes 10 years after Mr. Chesky and his former roommate started Airbnb in a San Francisco apartment in hopes of bringing in more money to pay their own rent.

Airbnb Introduces Airbnb Plus and Airbnb Beyond, offering two new tiers that take staying on the road to a whole new level. The company says it's aimed at "guests looking for lovely homes, exceptional hosts and added peace of mind" - which is shorthand, perhaps, for avoiding some of the surprises you occasionally find at Airbnb properties in terms of cleanliness, for example. These include services such as Wi-Fi, cooking essentials, televisions with streaming capabilities, well-maintained appliances and living spaces, and so on.

The new tier is called Beyond by Airbnb and will launch in the autumn. While the company's motto is "Everyone can belong anywhere", co-founder Brian Chesky said that their global footprint has helped them achieve the "everywhere" but Airbnb wasn't yet for "everyone". Today, millions of people every night do just that, he added.

Over the last 10 years, Airbnb hosts earned more than $41 billion and guests have checked into an Airbnb more than 300 million times. Unlike many online publications, we don't have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic. Later this year, Airbnb plans to offer luxury properties with the promise of "world-class hospitality", as part of its "Beyond by Airbnb" scheme.

Beyond Airbnb, which stemmed from the acquisition previous year of Luxury Retreats, will launch in coming months and offer customized "trips of a lifetime", the company said in a statement. The service will see the top homes inspected by Airbnb and kept in-keeping with brand standards, for things like cleanliness and comfort.

Additional changes will also provide users with more targeted search options.

Airbnb will now offer a new tier of homes that have been "personally verified" for quality and comfort.

Finally, Airbnb is redesigning its website to include more personalized collections for travelers to choose from.

The program will initially cover about 2,000 properties in 13 cities - Austin, Texas; Barcelona, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa; Chicago; Los Angeles; London; Melbourne, Australia; Milan; Rome; San Francisco; Shanghai, Sydney, and Toronto.

To cater to different travel purposes and occasions, Airbnb has launched Airbnb for Family and Airbnb for Work. On the flip side, the company will launch a Superguest program, first as a 10,000-person pilot program in the summer, then expanding out to the full community by the end of the year.