Ten years ago, two friends in San Francisco could not afford to pay their rent.
Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia decided to earn money by letting three strangers stay in their home.
That was the first Air Bed and Breakfast. Airbnb was created in August 2008 by Chesky and Gebbia. A third partner, Nathan Blecharczyk, came on shortly after.
“People said our idea would never work,” Chesky says on the Airbnb website. “’Strangers will never trust one another.’”
In the decade it has been around, Airbnb has lured trusting enough travelers to be able to boast that it has rented out properties 300 million times.
It has become such a force in the hospitality industry that executives at traditional hotel companies have had to deal with them as competition.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association has called on stricter regulation of short-term rentals such as Airbnb and competitors HomeAway and Flipkey, among others.
Airbnb continues to expand. Last year, it teamed up with restaurant reservation platform Resy to offer an app that will let people book tables at more than 650 U.S. restaurants.
The company now has five million listings in 191 countries. It is in more than 81,000 cities. In the USA, its users have spent 144.4 million nights in Airbnb properties.
Listings now range from apartments to yurts to windmills to islands. On any given night, the company estimates there could be more than two million people staying at an Airbnb.
Here is a tally of some of Airbnb’s most unique properties listed now:
- 10,449 RVs
- 2,194 yurts
- 1,403 islands
- 8,951 tiny houses
- 9,000 boats
- 2,194 treehouses
- 183 igloos
- 918 tipis
- 155 windmills
- 758 caves
For a look at Airbnb’s most “wishlisted” properties, click on the gallery of images above. More than 860,000 guests in the Airbnb community have given love to these 10 homes in the last 10 years.
Wishlists are a place where users can save and share their favorite properties. These are the properties that had the most users click “Save” with the heart shape on the top right corner of a listing.
And for a look at some of Airbnb’s most unique properties, take a look at the gallery of images below.
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