"But we want to go further by supporting and expanding our community so that in 10 years time, more than one billion people per year will experience the benefits of magical travel on Airbnb". That's one seventh of the worlds population - or - the populations of the United States and Europe combined.
The new tier is likely to appeal to people who may have been unwilling to use Airbnb in the past because of the company's lack of quality control, as the cleanliness and appearance of the property has always been largely down to the host.
Airbnb has come a long way since the co-founders first inflated three air beds in their San Francisco apartment 10 years ago. Later this year, Airbnb will unveil a new guest membership program offering benefits across the entire trip.
Airbnb has gone from a website for couch surfers to having a massive online presence in the just under a decade. Today, Airbnb is one of the world's largest accommodation platforms with 4.5 million places to stay in 81,000 cities. The company says there'll be around 2,000 locations across thirteen different cities to begin with, though that's certain to increase as the scheme grows more popular with hosts.
Following last year's acquisition of Luxury Retreats, Airbnb today previews a new standard in travel - Beyond by Airbnb. 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 already offers travelers tours, cooking classes, hiking trips, and other activities. It's also partnered with major landlords in California and Florida that allow for Airbnb rentals through their buildings.
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Alongside Beyond, the Airbnb update will include several other features, including Airbnb Plus, a verification project, that would seek to elevate hosts with exceptional homes above the rest. That's changing. Airbnb is adding four new property types to its platform: Vacation Home, Unique Space, B&B and Boutique. At the same time, it'll have new property listing categories for more unusual locations, including "Boutique" and "Unique Space".
In addition to those tiers, which are being announced at an event at San Francisco this morning (I overheard that there may be more than 1,000 employees at this event as well as a few dozen "super-hosts"), the company is also adding new ways to search for property on its service.
The Airbnb site will also be getting a jumpstart, with optimised search and booking options.
Chesky said that in addition to those categories, Airbnb will be adding "thousands" of search categories, so that guests will be able to search for categories and amenities as varied and specific as Rustic, Balcony, Family Friendly, Near Zoo, Crib, etc.
In fact, you'll often find these kinds of kinds of home setups already in place when you're searching for places to stay overseas. The company is launching this feature with Collections for families and those traveling for work.