Airbnb Plus gives users the option to book hotel-quality accommodation

Airbnb is getting all fancy

The Airbnb plus homes have been personally verified for quality and comfort by hosts and past guests.

CEO Brian Chesky outlined on Thursday at an event in San Francisco the company's new 10-year roadmap.

"Airbnb Plus is intended for guests looking for lovely homes, exceptional hosts and added peace of mind", the company wrote.

Airbnb has expanded its offering to include hotels, luxury properties and a loyalty programme for guests as the California startup shifts towards a full-service travel-booking company. That shouldn't be a problem with Airbnb Plus rentals. The new brackets are vacation home, unique space, B&B, and Boutique.

"We have a lot more than shared rooms, private rooms and entire homes", he said, announcing new categories for vacation homes, boutique hotel rooms, B&Bs and "uniques", a classification that includes tree-houses, boats, yurts, igloos and a 30ft beagle-shaped house called Sweet Willy. The new category was announced today, as an option for travelers looking both for a more unique place to stay and more confidence that what they'll turn up to when they arrive will be as promised in the listing.

By expanding its listings and breaking out categories, Airbnb is taking a page from major hotel companies and online travel agencies that offer different brands and price points. This will give greater choice of accommodation options to guests, provide greater transparency over the types of accommodation available, and help hosts better showcase what's unique about them to better match with guests' preferences.

The company is also launching a Superguest membership program later this year, similar to its Superhost program that recognizes favored hosts on the platform.

"People thought the idea that strangers would stay in each other's homes was insane", Chesky said.

In a bid for the luxury crowd, another new offering is Beyond by Airbnb, which will offer custom-designed trips in what the service touts as "the world's finest homes".

Airbnb Plus homes are inspected in person by Airbnb for cleanliness, comfort and design and come with a dedicated support team, making the company a direct challenger to the London-headquartered home rental firm OneFineStay. Later this year the platform will add collections for social stays, weddings, honeymoons, group getaways and dinner parties, Airbnb said.

The company is projected to make around $200m in annual gross sales from its Experiences packages, which offer travellers the chance to book local activities in the town or city they're staying in, by the end of 2018, up from $10m in 2017. Airbnb plans to launch it this summer with a 100,000 guest trial before rolling it out globally before the end of the year.

The hotel industry called the Airbnb Plus and Boutique programs further proof the company is trying to take market share from the industry while evading industry regulations.

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