Airbnb set to raise investment in China to cater to domestic travelers

Updated 2018-04-12 14:40:01

He said one of Airbnb's strengths is its "experiences" services, designed to connect travelers to local people, neighborhoods and culture. The company in China is focused on reputation and quality.

For example, to ensure its homes are of premium quality, the company has launched a number of "China-only" initiatives, including the review of every online listing and coaching lessons for hosts on how to be more successful on its platform.

The latter led to the recent creation of an "Airbnb Host Academy," which helps hosts learn the basics of quality hospitality.

To date, the company has held an unspecified number of offline sessions in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou.

When Blecharczyk co-founded Airbnb with Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia in 2008, their startup company was laughed off as a "crazy idea."

"People might still say 'it's not for me,' although they approve of Airbnb's model," said Blecharczyk.

A Harvard student entrepreneur before he co-founded Airbnb, Blecharczyk said Airbnb's core values are built on "earning trust."

The company has instituted measures to adhere to that principle, including eliciting reviews from travelers and hosts. He said they help allay hosts' concerns about ill-bred guests.

Concerns about sharing a home with strangers were fanned by media reports about the untoward behavior of some Chinese travelers.

Airbnb offers "host guarantee," an insurance-like policy that comes free with each reservation. It covers any property damage caused during a stay.

"Local players might outspend us, but we are confident of building our reputation and earning the trust of customers through word of mouth and patience," Blecharczyk said.

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