Amid ongoing difficulties in its home-hotel business, Airbnb is expanding their reach by adding services for customers to find rooms in conventional hotels and luxury rooms. The new products soon to be revealed will couple Airbnb’s high-end offerings with premium travel services. Airbnb is planning to make B&B and boutique hotels easier to book, a complete turnaround from previous competitors.
The startup explains the moves as targeting travelers who balk at renting a stranger’s apartment or home. These shifts are also a nod to the increasing attention from regulators around the world, which has already pushed Airbnb to cut listings in top cities for fear that the app is warping the housing market.
With an IPO anticipated sometime in 2019, the changes are coming rapidly, and much is banking on their success. The app now includes guided tours of local cities, categorized listings, cleanliness guarantees with a small markup on rates, and restaurant reservations. Although 2017 saw Airbnb’s first year of full profitability, growth has been intermittent and full of roadblocks that the disruptive startup hopes to bypass with these overhauls.