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The website Airbnb has introduced new features catering to wealthy people. Airbnb is a website where people can find accommodation when traveling. It is an alternative to booking a hotel. Hosts will post pictures of their homes on the website and travellers will choose how many nights they would like to stay. The system is similar to booking a hotel online except you stay in someone else’s home. Before the new features, there were two options to choose: A room or a whole house.

Airbnb has been growing rapidly over the past 10 years. It is extremely popular, there are homes in more than 81,000 cities around the world. They also have over 4.5 million rental homes. Their goal is to continue growing and have 1 billion people in their homes by 2028. That is one seventh of the population of the planet, or the populations of the U.S.A and Europe combined.

Now Airbnb is trying a new market, the wealthy. They have unveiled Airbnb Plus and ‘Beyond by Airbnb’. They started out as a site for people looking for low cost accommodation. However, now they want Airbnb to be for everyone, the couch surfers and the wealthy.

The CEO of Airbnb explained at a conference that Airbnb Plus is for people looking for “beautiful homes” with “exceptional hosts”. ‘Beyond by Airbnb’ is a level higher, complete luxury. It includes “some of the world’s nicest homes” the CEO described.

A woman in San Francisco who put her home on Airbnb Plus said Airbnb came to her home and “literally opened every drawer.” She described how they even made sure her cookware was of a good enough quality.

Airbnb Plus will start in 2,000 homes and 13 cities around the world.

Difficult words

Catering: Provide for.

Wealthy: Rich.

Accommodation: Housing or a place to stay.

Rapidly: Very quickly.

Couch Surfer: Someone who travels cheaply or for free by sleeping on couches.

Booking: Making a reservation.

Conference: A meeting, usually public.

Literally: Really, it literally happened means it really happened.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English:

Match the Synonym!

 1. Cater  A. Meeting
 2. Wealthy  B. Quick
 3. Rapid  C. Housing
 4. Conference  D. Provide
 5. Accommodation  E. Rich

True or False?

1.  Airbnb wants to now cater to richer people. T / F

2.  People rent whole houses or rooms on Airbnb. T / F

3.  Airbnb doesn’t want to have low cost accommodation anymore. T / F

4. To book a house with Airbnb you have to call the host first. T / F

5. Airbnb checks potential Airbnb Plus houses very carefully. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. a / website / where / when / traveling / accommodation / Airbnb / can / people / find / is

2. over / years / past / growing / rapidly / 10 / been / has / Airbnb / the

3. homes / have / 4.5 / million / rental / They / over / also

4. continue / in /  and / 1 billion / growing / people / homes / is / have / Their / to / their / goal

5. around / cities / start / Airbnb / 13 / will / Plus / homes / and / world / 2,000 / in / the

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English:

Population Wealthy System
Conference Quality Alternative

The website Airbnb has introduced new features catering to wealthy people. Airbnb is a website where people can find accommodation when traveling. It is an ___________ to booking a hotel. Hosts will post pictures of their homes on the website and travellers will choose how many nights they would like to stay. The _________ is similar to booking a hotel online except you stay in someone else’s home. Before the new features, there were two options to choose: A room or a whole house.

Airbnb has been growing rapidly over the past 10 years. It is extremely popular, there are homes in more than 81,000 cities around the world. They also have over 4.5 million rental homes. Their goal is to continue growing and have 1 billion people in their homes by 2028. That is one seventh of the ___________ of the planet, or the populations of the U.S.A and Europe combined.

Now Airbnb is trying a new market, the ___________. They have unveiled Airbnb Plus and ‘Beyond by Airbnb’. They started out as a site for people looking for low cost accommodation. However, now they want Airbnb to be for everyone, the couch surfers and the wealthy.

The CEO of Airbnb explained at a _____________ that Airbnb Plus is for people looking for “beautiful homes” with “exceptional hosts”. ‘Beyond by Airbnb’ is a level higher, complete luxury. It includes “some of the world’s nicest homes” the CEO described.

A woman in San Francisco who put her home on Airbnb Plus said Airbnb came to her home and “literally opened every drawer.” She described how they even made sure her cookware was of a good enough __________.

Airbnb Plus will start in 2,000 homes and 13 cities around the world.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. Have you ever stayed in an Airbnb?
4. Would you ever post your room or house on Airbnb?
5. Many countries are banning Airbnb, do you think it should be allowed?
6. What do you think about the new luxury Airbnb options?
7. How do you like to travel?
8. What was your worst travel experience?
9. What was your best travel experience?
10. How do you usually find your travel accommodation?
11. Is Airbnb popular in your country?
12. Do you think hotels or Airbnb homes are better?
13. What are the positives to the Airbnb system?
14. What are the negatives to the Airbnb system?
15. Airbnb has caused the rent in many cities to skyrocket, pricing locals out of the market. What do you think can be done to stop this?
16. Is Airbnb good for the consumer?
17. What do you think about Airbnb’s creative homes such as castles and tree houses? Would you like to stay in them?
18. Are there any popular start ups in your country?
19. Have you used any services from a start up?
20. Are there any other industries that you think should be tackled by a start up?