Airbnb is going mainstream and letting you book regular hotels

Mike Windle/Getty ImagesAirbnb CEO Brian Chesky.
  • Airbnb is adding hotels to its platform as it attempts to broaden its appeal.
  • The 10-year-old company wants to have one billion bookings a year by 2028.
  • It’s also launching a rewards scheme, “Superguest.”

Airbnb is trying to move into the mainstream.

The $US31 billion holiday rental business is adding hotels to its platform as part of a major overhaul that it hopes will get it to one billion bookings a year by 2028.

On Tuesday, the 10-year-old company announced that it is broadening its selection of options available to customers to include vacation homes, “unique” properties, bed and breakfasts, and “boutique” hotels.

While some hotels and B&B’s have previously listed on the platform, the update will directly list them under a dedicated category for the first time. These will be “professional hospitality businesses that usually have a unique style or theme,” CEO Brian Chesky said at an event formally announcing the news in San Francisco, California.

Airbnb is also introducing higher-end options: “Airbnb Plus,” properties that have been individually vetted by the company; and “Beyond by Airbnb,” a luxury tier of properties.

And starting with a trial of 10,000 customers, it is introducing a rewards scheme called “Superguest” that will offer benefits to frequent customers.

Collectively, the changes represent an attempted broadening of the company’s appeal. Historically, Airbnb has had a combative stance towards the traditional hotel industry – but with the update, it aims to directly target its customers.

“We think we finally do have a home for everyone,” Chesky said.

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