Airbnb shutters Plus program, promises other upgrades for hosts


Airbnb has called time on its Airbnb Plus program, which will be discontinued beginning November 6 as the company focuses on its core service.

Airbnb Plus was unveiled in early 2018 and enabled properties to be part of a higher tier based on comfort, quality and amenities.

A month after launch more than five years ago the company said that 20,000 hosts had applied to have their listings included in the Plus classification, while boutique hotels were also keen to get involved.

Fast forward five years and the company has said that while the Plus banner will no longer be presented in search,  Airbnb website visitors will still be able to find the listings.

“We’re also developing new tools for hosts to help them showcase their properties and make their listings easily discoverable to potential guests, and we look forward to sharing more in our 2023 winter release,” the company added in a statement.

Airbnb’s next release is slated for the first week of November and will build on its release in May when it announced a big focus on its individual rooms inventory, which makes up about a million listings.

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Among the 50 updates, changes were also made to checkout instructions and pricing transparency following feedback from guests.

The company is also likely to give a further update on generative artificial intelligence developments with co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky describing it as a “once-in-a-generation platform shift … bigger than mobile … akin to the internet,” during the company’s second quarter earnings call.

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He added that for Airbnb the technology will create efficiency in the short term – such as by automating and improving customer service functions – and growth in the long term, in the form of a “whole new interface” with personalization that will make the Airbnb app like an “AI concierge.”

The Phocuswright Conference 2023

Hear from Airbnb commercial director Amir Segall during the event November 13-16 in Fort Lauderdale.

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