Airbnb began as a simple idea between roommates to make some extra money. Today, that simple idea has grown to over 3 million lodging listings with more than 160 million guests.
Not resting on its laurels, Airbnb is now looking to compete with hotels by adding a new program which will offer exclusive listings that have met Airbnb’s premium standards.
The new program, which still hasn’t officially been announced or named, will start by sending Airbnb inspectors to homes to be reviewed against a checklist of quality standards. Inspectors from Airbnb will be looking for things like single-use toiletries, new and matching bed linens, and other offerings like what you might find when staying at a hotel.
Airbnb is even adding incentives like professional photos of the listing or a private consultation with an interior decorator to entice hosts to participate.
Offering exclusive and certified listings could bring wealthier, more experienced travelers who might have overlooked Airbnb in the past. Providing more amenities and services typically found in hotels also could bring more luxury and business guests to the website.
Sources say the new program could launch by the end of 2017 with the first premium listings marketed on the website with verified inspections by Airbnb.
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