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What to expect on Airbnb’s 11th birthday

This month (February 2019) marks the 11th birthday for Airbnb. Founded in 2008, Airbnb is the first and now the dominant player in the P2P (peer-to-peer) short-term residential rental business.

Last year at Airbnb’s 10th birthday, the company’s CEO Brian Chesky delivered a keynote speech --- Airbnb for everyone. Around the same period, the company rolled out two new brands to its current product line: Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky delivers a keynote speech at the company's 10th birthday in February. (Image: Airbnb)

Within 10 years, Airbnb has already turned itself into more than just a marketplace for room-sharing services. The company also sells other travel experiences and even rooms for other hotels, as what OTAs (online travel agents such as Expedia and Priceline) offer. Additionally, Airbnb began competing head-to-head with other hotel giants in the real estate market.      

It is no doubt that Airbnb has become more than just a room-sharing enterprise, but what other markets is Airbnb after? What can we expect at Airbnb’s 11th birthday? Here are a few possibilities:

Is Airbnb soon to enter the transportation business?

Airbnb announced earlier this month that Fred Reid, an aviation expert, would join the company as its global head of transportation. Fred’s aviation experience includes: the founding CEO of Virgin America, a president of Delta Airlines and Lufthansa Airlines, as well as a key player to help create the Star Alliance program, the first frequent flyer program that allowed travelers to earn and redeem mileages from a group of partnered airlines for reward travels.

In such a newly-creative position, Fred will be responsible for building partnerships with other travel and tourism companies, which is expected to help Airbnb provide transportation services to the travelers in addition to accommodations. Ultimately (possibly in a few years), travelers will be able to book a flight ticket or arrange other transportations besides booking an Airbnb experience or an accommodation service on Airbnb.com.

Will Airbnb introduce more new brands to its short-term residential rental business?

The debut of Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb in last February was a good start. Earlier this month, the company began testing a new product --- Airbnb Luxe in London. Some additional amenities that may come with Airbnb Luxe homes include: airport transfer, car rental, childcare, butler, driver, restaurant concierge, spa services, to name a few. The tag-line for Airbnb Luxe is “extraordinary homes with five-star everything.”

Will Airbnb finally launch a loyalty program that rewards its hosts and travelers?

It has been a year since we first discussed Airbnb’s plan in adding a loyalty program to reward its hosts and travelers, but the company has not yet released any major announcements in that regard. Meanwhile, hotels are trying to pull in travelers with larger loyalty programs and making updates on the existing terms. There is a need for Airbnb to introduce a thoughtfully-designed loyalty program that rewards its loyal customers.

Will Airbnb be able to find ways to solve its legal dilemmas?

Airbnb is dealing with many legal issues now, such as discriminations and unfair competition in the lodging sector. While some research showed that Airbnb could possibly help the local businesses, more tourist destinations are adding more legal restrictions on short-term residential rentals than before. It becomes critical for Airbnb to come up with better solutions to those legal issues as the company continues to grow.


What do you expect from Airbnb’s 11th birthday? What needs the company’s immediate attention now? 

Note: This discussion is also available on MultiBriefs.com; the picture was also downloaded from MultiBriefs.com

Comments

  1. Airbnbs are easy to book, convenient, comfortable and an amazing experience. I’ve stayed in both a hotel and an airbnb before and in my honest opinion I would rather stay in an airbnb. The airbnb industry has grown really fast, more and more people book them. They are affordable and have little perks that make things better like the home feeling and breakfast. If the airbnb created a travel bundle that includes “airport transfer, car rental, childcare, butler, driver, restaurant concierge, spa services” then it would be the perfect package for everyone. It will be a hole in one for easy traveling. I recently used an airbnb and it was a hassle booking everything separately so it would be a great idea to have everything done at the same time.
    -Erandy BIbian Lopez HRT 2030-03

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