Airbnb began as a way to find a place to stay when you didn’t want to (or couldn’t afford to) stay in a hotel. But the company has slowly been including hotels in their list of places to stay, and it is helping the company shed their “alternative” booking image. According to the company, 330 million people visited the Airbnb website in 2017, but most of them never booked anything.
“The number one reason people who came to Airbnb did not book was because they did not see the right thing for them,” Airbnb CEO and cofounder Brian Ches told Forbes.
Airbnb now has 43 million properties worldwide, including boutique hotels, vacation homes, bed-and-breakfasts, and even tree houses. According to Forbes, the boutique hotel market grew 520 percent in bookings in the last year. Airbnb now has more than 24,000 boutique hotel rooms and more than 180,000 bed-and-breakfasts.
However, Airbnb is allowing certain hotel collections, starting with family-friendly and work-friendly properties. Next, they will be looking at destination hotels for events like weddings and honeymoons.
Airbnb is also working with a program called Airbnb Plus. As a host, you can sign up for the program by having an in-house inspection to “verify” your property. The 100-item checklist includes things like cleanliness, internet speed, and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
“The studies have shown that that draws 5x more interest in bookings and that guests are willing to pay more for that,” airbnb COO Belinda Johnson said.
Airbnb Plus homes are averaging around $250 a night.