Founded in 2008, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia inflated 3 airbeds in their San Francisco apartment, eventually spawning the idea of Airbnb. (Yes, Airbnb = AirBed and Breakfast!)
Since inception, the platform has swelled to being one of the world’s largest accommodation platforms, with 4.5 million places to stay in over 81,000 cities.
Airbnb hosts have also earned more than US$41B, and more than 300 million check ins have been performed by guests – with 3 guests checking into an Airbnb listing somewhere in the world every second!
The phenomenon has also extended beyond its initial ‘millennial’ appeal – in 2018, roughly 30% of hosts are 50 and older, and 12% are 60 and older.
Local economies have also been reported to have benefitted greatly from Airbnb – the community is reported to have supported 730,000 jobs in 2016, and was projected to support 1.3 million in 2017.
And as the company celebrates its success in the past decade, co-founder Brian Chesky today (22 Feb) revealed its Roadmap to media, which is set to put the company on the path to serving more than 1 billion guests a year by 2028.
“Airbnb Is Still Not For Everyone – Until Today”
Chesky admitted that in spite of its phenomenal success in the past 10 years, there are still pockets of individuals who have yet to choose the platform as the default for their accommodation needs.
He hopes the Roadmap would be able to fill in the gaps.
10 years ago we never dreamed of what Airbnb could become. In fact, people thought the idea that strangers would stay in each other’s homes was crazy. Today, millions of people every night do just that. But we want to go further by supporting and expanding our community so that in 10 years time, more than 1 billion people per year will experience the benefits of magical travel on Airbnb.
The Roadmap includes:
- Revamped perks for Superhosts
- Launch of the new guest membership programme
- Launch of four new property types – Vacation Home, Unique, B&B, and Boutique
- Launch of Airbnb Collections – homes perfectly suited for every occasion
- Launch of Airbnb Plus – listings verified for quality and comfort
- Launch of Beyond by Airbnb – luxury custom designed trips
Revamped Perks For Superhosts
Chesky credits the success to Airbnb so far to the dedication of Superhosts, and in the Roadmap, plans to reward them even further.
He also announced the creation of a new store for Superhosts, which would give them exclusive pricing on smart home devices. Their first partner is home automation producer Nest.
Launch Of New Guest Membership Programme
But Airbnb is as much about the guests as it is for the hosts, and Chesky realised that, “Airbnb should get better the more you use it”.
“I decided to go, where we all go, for the pursuit of infinite wisdom – I went to Twitter.”
Perks like stocked fridges, to airport pick up and drop off, to access to fitness facilities were some of the suggestions given.
Thus, to recognise its best and most loyal guests, Airbnb is launching a new guest membership later this year, offering them benefits across the entire trip.
Details on what the benefits are weren’t specified, but the feature will launch initially to 10,000 guests as a trial this summer before being rolled out to the rest of the community before the end of the year.
Launch Of 4 New Property Types – Vacation Home, Unique, B&B, and Boutique
With over 4.5 million places to stay around the world, listings have similarly become increasingly diversified, and Chesky admits that the 3 existing property types – Shared Space, Private Room, and Entire Home – have become too broad to properly represent the homes.
To address this, Airbnb will be launching 4 new property types – Vacation Home, Unique Space, B&B, and Boutique – this summer.
This will give guests more options in types of accommodation, and hosts will also be better able to showcase what’s unique about their listings.
From today, hosts would also be able to sort their listings even more specifically with “thousands” of new categories – for example, ‘rustic’, ‘artist’, ‘balcony’ or even ‘igloo’.
“We are building one of the world’s largest home databases,” shared Chesky.
Launch Of Airbnb Collections – Homes Perfectly Suited For Every Occasion
While Airbnb was initially designed mainly for solo travel, the ways that guests have used the platform has evolved over the years.
To meet the needs of these various groups, Airbnb has launched Collections, which provides guest the “perfect homes for every occasion”.
To ensure the quality of listings in these Collections, those featured have a minimum 4.8 star rating.
Launched today are Family and Work, while Collections for Social Stays, Weddings, Honeymoons, Group Getaways and Dinner Parties will be coming later this year.
Launch of Airbnb Plus – Listings Verified For Quality And Comfort
To recognise the hosts who have went above and beyond to provide outstanding hospitality, Airbnb Plus has been launched today, starting with 2,000 homes in 13 cities.
These homes have been personally inspected by the Airbnb team against a 100+ point checklist which covers cleanliness, comfort, and design.
Guests can therefore have a peace of mind that these listings are guaranteed to be of excellent quality.
Airbnb Plus hosts can stand to benefit from top placement, in-home services like design consultation and professional photography, and premium support.
Launch Of Beyond By Airbnb – Luxury Custom Designed Trips
Following the acquisition of Luxury Retreats, Airbnb previewed today Beyond by Airbnb, which will offer custom design trips – including the world’s finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality.
Think: Airbnb for luxury homes and experiences.
It will be launched in spring.
Which One Are You Looking Forward To?
Airbnb definitely revealed a number of rather significant updates and new features. Personally, I’m excited about what the guest membership programme could bring!
What about you? Let us know!