Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced plans to add galleries showcasing property photos guests share via Instagram to all of its websites worldwide. The new Guest Galleries will showcase guest photos and videos geo-tagged at Starwood properties.
The Guest Galleries will be divided into brand-specific categories, including: Family Traditions for St. Regis, Fashion for W Hotels, UnLock Art for Le Méridien, Move Well for Westin, and a special category for Instagrams tagged with #SPGLife.
Starwood isn't the first hotel company to harness Instagram to build buzz. In August the boutique 1888 Hotel in Sydney made waves when it offered the chance to win free room nights to guests who shared photos of themselves at the hotel on Instagram. The best guest photos were also displayed on a giant digital frame in the hotel's lobby.
For agents looking to get started on Instagram, Amadeus recently rereleased a series of tips for building a presence on Instagram and Vine. The two platforms can be an effective way to tell your company's travel story, Amadeus said.
“A ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ and a picture shared is worth even more to our guests,” said Chris Holdren, senior vice president, Starwood Preferred Guest & Digital. “Starwood’s mobile bookings are growing five times faster than the annual growth rate of the web channel 10 years ago. With an increasingly mobile, digital traveler we expect social sharing in places like our Instagram Guest Gallery pages will continue to change how our guests book travel and explore and interact with our hotels.”