Hotels spotlight top selfie spots to lure guests

Riding the wave of the selfie trend, the Mandarin Oriental Paris now offers a package with a private tour of the French capital's best locations for Instagram-worthy self-portraits. The prestigious hotel is not the only player in the tourism industry to have understood the marketing potential of the phenomenon.

The Mandarin Oriental's "Selfie in Paris" offer includes a night in a Deluxe room with breakfast and three hours with a private car and driver (€995 -RM4125 between Oct1, 2014 and Jan31, 2015).

Guests are given a complete list of the most scenic and photogenic locations in Paris. While riding from one selfie spot to the next in the chauffeured car, guests can post their photos online thanks to the vehicle's on-board Wi-Fi. Complimentary Wi-Fi is also offered in the hotel room.

By appealing to selfie takers, hotels aim not only to attract fans of the popular pastime but also to boost their own online presence. The idea is that guests will flood social networks with their vacation photos, ideally while referencing their accommodations.

In the case of the Mandarin Oriental's Selfie in Paris offer, guests are encouraged to post their photos using the tags @MO_PARIS and #MOselfiecontest. At the end of each month from October to January, the hotel manager will select the best selfie posted with these tags and taken at one of the suggested locations. The winning photographer will receive a free one-night stay at the Parisian hotel.

Meanwhile, the Hôtel Grande Bretagne in Athens, Greece has begun promoting a dedicated selfie spot on its roof, where guests can take advantage of a vantage point over the Acropolis.

American hotels were among the first to appeal to selfie fans, namely through contests and rewards for appropriately tagged posts taken on their grounds. Lansdowne Resort in Virginia and the Hotel Modera in Portland, Oregon are just a few of the properties to have rolled out the concept.

The 1888 Hotel in Sydney takes the idea a step farther, as it claims to be the world's first hotel designed entirely with Instagram users in mind. Guests are encouraged to take plenty of selfies during their stay, starting with one on arrival in the lobby's dedicated selfie spot. When guests post their selfies to Instagram with the hashtag #1888Hotel, the image appears instantly on a screen near the reception desk. And the hotel's promotion is extended far beyond its walls.—AFP/Relaxnews 2014

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