Airbnb, which will celebrate a decade of home-sharing this summer, this week unveiled its roadmap for the next 10 years, which includes a number of changes to further compete against hotel chains that could make meeting attendees’ ears perk up. Here are three changes in the home-sharing service and their appeal to your attendees.
• Business travelers like rewards. A “Superguest” loyalty program will be piloted this summer with 10,000 airbnb users and is expected to be widely available by the end of the year. The company hasn’t announced how the program will operate or what kinds of benefits will accrue.
• Business travelers like certainty. A new tier called “Airbnb Plus” includes properties that have passed a 100-point inspection to ensure they meet strict criteria on everything from cleanliness, to Wi-Fi speed, to how well equipped they are. Plus properties must have irons, hair dryers, bottled or filtered water, plenty of towels and hangers, televisions ready for streaming, good water pressure, and more. Guest satisfaction scores must be 4.8 out of 5, or better. The program has started with 2,000 homes in 13 cities verified under an earlier pilot program called Select.
• Business travelers want easy searching. Taking a page from hotels that offer different brands and price points, the company is adding four new property types, including some traditional hotel rooms. In addition to the current property type choices—home, private room, and shared space—users can now select boutique hotel, B&B, vacation home, and unique (the latter for those in the market for a yurt, treehouse, houseboat, or other nontraditional options).