Are Instagram “Influencers” Making Life Difficult for Hotels?

By Kehl Bayern / July 27, 2018

In today’s daily dose of modern life’s insanity, we meet the “wannabe” Instagram “influencers” that are messaging top-tier resorts around the world in search of free lodging and luxury accoutrements all in exchange for being featured on said person’s Instagram feed.

As Resource Magazine points out, sometimes it works, but when it doesn’t, wow, that was awkward!

Such is the life of the wannabe Instagram influencer whose numbers are growing and making life difficult for the travel industry in the process.

We’ve brought you stories about how travel agencies are packaging Instagram ready tours, now we’re talking to you about people who want that tour for free. How’s that for delusion and entitlement?

Of course, that’s not to discount the real influencers out there who do bring in the big money for hotels, brands, you name it. It’s definitely a powerful thing if you’ve got it, and for those that do, it is a lucrative position indeed. But it is a rarefied position, even if the aspiration to it is not.

Kate Jones, marketing manager for Dusit Thani Maldives in the tropical island paradise of the Maldives receives at least six requests a day for such perks including “sponsored rooms, spa visits, meals, and the like.” For anyone who has ever glimpsed a picture from the Maldives, you can probably understand why it is one location least in need of an influencer’s help in attracting travelers.

“Everyone with a Facebook these days is an influencer. People say, ‘I want to come to the Maldives for ten days and will do two posts on Instagram to like 2,000 followers.’ It’s people with 600 Facebook friends saying, ‘Hi I’m an influencer, I want to stay in your hotel for 7 days,” she told Resource Magazine.

Of course, there are some hotel managers that are reacting even more strongly to this kind of request, with Irish boutique hotel owner Paul Stenson telling one “influencer” they lacked any dignity or self-respect for making the request.

It will be interesting to see the changes that are wrought on the travel industry because of social media and the like but we certainly hope it doesn’t become a world catering to picture-perfect experiences at the expense of authentic traveling.

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About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is our staff news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of photography, he is interested in architecture and modern design. Kehl Bayern is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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