Airbnb has hired a seasoned boutique hotel executive to set up hospitality standards for its listings, the company announced Tuesday.
Chip Conley, founder of the posh boutique hotel company Joie de Vivre Hospitality, is Airbnb's new head of global hospitality. His first task is creating a training program for hosts that will set standards for the peer-to-peer home rental company. It's a unique challenge, given that there are more than 500,000 Airbnb listings globally, all with different hosts acting as hoteliers. The company now has listings in 35,000 cities spread over 192 countries, with hosts and guests who speak more than 32 languages.
Conley seems like a good fit for Airbnb. He started Joie de Vivre 27 years ago before growing the company to 52 boutique hotels, each with a different décor and feel.
The new hospitality program, which will be housed at Airbnb's new hospitality lab in Dublin, Ireland, will develop standards like host response times, listing accuracy, and cleanliness. Airbnb will roll out the training as a curriculum, consisting of offline workshops, online webinars, and hospitality tips.
Conley said his ideals on what a hotel experience should be are in line with Airbnb's views. He emphasizes the connections that hosts make with their guests too.
"I became a boutique hotelier because I wanted to shake up the conventional wisdom that in order to offer quality hospitality you had to be conventional," he said in a press release.