Since every Joe Schmoe with a Facebook or Instagram is now calling themselves an “influencer,” an awful lot of people think they can leverage their follower numbers and a few branded photos to score free hotel stays. Well, they can’t, and resorts in the Maldives are fed up telling them about it.
Given its crystal-clear waters, white-sand beaches, and luxury bungalows, the Maldives are a particularly Instagrammable location. But the sheer volume of self-proclaimed “influencers” requesting free stays is starting to exasperate resort owners. Kate Jones, a five-star resort employee in the Maldives, told The Atlantic that people say they “want to come to the Maldives for 10 days and will do two posts on Instagram to like 2,000 followers.” She says requests are often vague, and that she receives about six each day.