Natalie Paris, The Daily Telegraph, August 4, 2013
The boutique 1888 Hotel in Sydney is encouraging guests to take pictures of themselves using Instagram by displaying the best on its walls for others to see.
A giant digital photo frame hangs in the lobby, there's a "selfie" space in which to snap yourself, and guests are encouraged to capture their stay and then share their images with friends - providing the hotel with free publicity.
To ensure that photos of the hotel are seen by as many people as possible, guests with more than 10,000 followers on Instagram - something likely to apply to only a few people - are being offered a free night’s stay.
Pictures that are particularly good may be hung in the hotel’s 90 rooms, allowing guests to leave a personal stamp on the property.
As you would expect, the Wi-Fi is complimentary and there is an iPad available in each room, so guests can review their favourite images from the comfort of their beds.
Paul Fischman, the chief executive officer of hotel company 8Hotels, told Mashable, the social media news website, that the hotel caters to today's modern traveller.
"There has always been a strong, intrinsic link between travel and photography,” he said “But the advent of social media and Instagram has made photo-sharing an even bigger part of the traveler's experience.
"People not only want to visit and stay in beautiful places, they also want to capture and share it with their friends and networks as it happens."
Instagram is famous for its easily shared vintage-style images and has grown increasingly popular in the past few years, leading to the site’s acquisition by Facebook in 2012.
The 1888 Hotel is the latest property to target travellers with social media inspired gimmicks.
The world’s first Twitter-themed hotel opened in Magaluf, Majorca in August, allowing guests to check-out online whoever else was checking in.
Visitors can log onto their personal Twitter accounts and chat, share photos or even flirt with other guests using a specially-created hashtag, as well as ordering room service via a concierge available on Twitter.