A hotel in Japan is letting guests stay a night for just $1 USD per night — the only condition is that they must livestream their experience. Thinking of ways to draw customers into the family-run hotel, the idea came to 27-year-old Tetsuya Inoue, who’s helping his grandmother with the business, after seeing one YouTuber vlogging his stay, garnering some attention from curious visitors.
Located in Fukuoka, Asahi Ryokan, which has since changed its domain to onedollarhotel.com, is currently limiting this bold marketing technique to a single room. There are some restrictions that protect the streamer’s privacy, too; for instance, it’s all video-only, which means guests will be able to talk without anyone hearing them. Not only is the sound removed from the stream, but guests are allowed to have the room lights off and the bathroom area is completely hidden from view.
In a statement, Inoue mentioned the hotel’s age as a motivating factor for creating the initiative. He began brainstorming a new, modern approach to improving the business: “Our hotel is on the cheaper side, so we need some added value, something special that everyone will talk about.” So far, four guests have already taken up the deal. “Young people nowadays don’t care much about privacy,” says Inoue. “Some of them say it’s OK to be [watched] for just one day.”
There are currently several vacancies that you can book on Asahi Ryokan’s website and livestreams are currently hosted on One Dollar Hotel’s YouTube channel.
Elsewhere, Harajuku Station will be demolished after the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.