|Airbnb enters luxury travel market
The online accommodation booking company Airbnb is going upmarket. It is moving into the luxury travel market. CEO Brian Chesky has announced an improvement in the company's business model. It wants richer people to use it. The company will offer new types of places to stay such as vacation homes and boutique hotels. The company has over four million rooms on its site in 81,000 cities and 191 countries. It has helped make over 260 million reservations since it launched nine years ago. Mr Chesky hopes to increase this to more than one billion people staying in its rentals by 2028. Chesky said: "Airbnb is still an alternative. It's still not for everyone. Today we will show you our road map: Airbnb for everyone."
Airbnb does not own any real estate, or properties. It acts as a broker between property owners who want to make extra cash by renting out their rooms or homes, and travelers looking for a cheaper, more homely alternative to hotels. The company makes money from the booking fees it charges. Its vision is to branch out into luxury accommodation, restaurant reservations, and adventure travel experiences. A new option will allow people to book "unique spaces". This includes things like yurts – the large, circular tents that are home to many people in Mongolia. Airbnb's new "Beyond" option will offer travelers "full-on luxury stays" that include "some of the world's nicest homes".