Merchant Innovation

Airbnb Courts High-End Travelers With New Tiers

Airbnb announced news on Thursday (Feb. 22) that it is debuting new tiers on its platform geared toward travelers looking for higher-end lodging.

In a corporate blog post, Airbnb said the new tiers are called “Airbnb Plus” and “Beyond by Airbnb” and are aimed at broadening the appeal of the platform to more guests. The two new levels will recognize hosts who provide hospitality that goes above and beyond. The travel booking company said it personally verifies the properties for quality as well as comfort.

“Starting with 2,000 homes in 13 cities available to book right now, Airbnb Plus is intended for guests looking for beautiful homes, exceptional hosts and added peace of mind,” the company wrote. “Airbnb Plus homes have been inspected and verified in person against a 100+ point checklist covering cleanliness, comfort and design. Airbnb Plus hosts benefit from top placement, in-home services, such as design consultation and expert photography, and premium support.”

Beyond by Airbnb is launching in the spring and will offer custom-designed trips, including lodging in some of the world’s finest homes, unique experiences and what the company is calling “world-class hospitality.” Airbnb said the debut of Beyond by Airbnb is made possible through the acquisition of Luxury Retreats last year. The company also introduced Collections, which provides housing for different types of travelers — be it solo or families that need extra space. The first Collections to be launched are Airbnb for Family and Airbnb for Work. Coming later this year are Airbnb for social stays, weddings, honeymoons, group getaways and dinner parties.

Airbnb was initially designed mainly for solo travel, but over the years, millions of people have found the platform suited to a range of different types of travel, whether that be families who want extra space and a place to cook, to adventurers who are looking for somewhere to stay off the beaten track,” wrote the company.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.