Airbnb reportedly launching a premium tier to compete with hotels

Airbnb is getting ready to launch a new premium service meant to attract higher-paying travelers, according to Bloomberg. This tier will try to lure new customers who have yet to try the platform because they prefer the amenities that come with upscale hotels.

This is the first time upscale properties will be segmented into their own category, and Bloomberg’s sources say the included listings will be officially inspected by Airbnb to make sure the homes meet designated standards and will offer incentives for participants — like a consultation with an Airbnb-provided interior decorator. Requirements for the program include new and matching bedding, single-use toiletries, available bottled water, tea, and coffee, and other amenities generally found at hotels. It is unofficially being referred to as “Select,” but a formal name has not been chosen.

Select could help Airbnb gain customers who believe home-sharing is inferior to booking a hotel room. The company is pursuing “older and wealthier travelers” with the new effort, Bloomberg claims. The news comes on the heels of Airbnb streamlining their check-in process and confirming it is testing split payments.

The pilot for Select is expected to launch this week, and the full rollout could come by end of 2017.

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