Airbnb recently revealed a road map designed to jump-start the company’s annual guest count to more than 1 billion by 2028.
The 10-year plan includes multiple elements, including more rental types and a consumer loyalty program.
First, the low-hanging fruit: Airbnb is adding filters to allow customers to search for new categories of lodging, including vacation homes, unique accommodations, bed & breakfasts, and boutique hotels.
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Next, Airbnb is adding new tiers to its product lineup, Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb. The former is a collection of more upscale homes, for those with Champagne tastes and the budgets to back them up. The latter “will offer custom designed trips of a lifetime, including the world’s finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality.”
Another addition: Airbnb Collections, “perfect homes for every occasion.” Launching immediately are Airbnb for Family and Airbnb for Work. Later this year will be added collections for social stays, weddings, honeymoons, group getaways and dinner parties.
Airbnb already has a Superhost loyalty program for its hosts. This summer the company will test-launch the Superguest program for guests. Details weren’t disclosed, but perks might be expected to include lower prices and access to fitness centers for heavy Airbnb users.
If Airbnb is to meet its lofty 10-year goal, it will be in large part at the expense of the traditional hotel industry, which isn’t likely to take losing market share lightly. Sparks will fly, and travelers will (should) be the beneficiaries.
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.