A ryokan in Fukuoka City is offering stays of just over $1 a night. The catch? The residence live-streams your stay on YouTube.
The owner of the Asahi Ryokan in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, has come up with a radical and eccentric way to combat a low occupancy rate.
In a bid to reinvigorate the ryokan, which he reportedly inherited from his grandmother, Inoue Tetsuya, 27, is drastically lowering prices and opening the comings-and-goings of two of its rooms to the internet.
Guests at the Asahi Ryokan have the option to stay for as little as 100 yen (currently $1.35) per night if they agree to allow the residence to live-stream their stay on YouTube, at the owner’s ‘One Dollar Hotel’ page.
“The purpose of One Dollar Hotel … I want to run our hotel operated by ads revenue, not accommodation fee,” Inoue said in an online video.
“This is a very old ryokan and I was looking into a new business model,” Inoue told CNN Travel. “Our hotel is on the cheaper side, so we need some added value, something special that everyone will talk about.”
Inoue says the concept is a world first for the hotel industry, and that guests are offered some semblance of privacy, but added there are restrictions to what they can do while being live-streamed.
One Dollar Hotel has received four guests since Inoue began offering the deal, last month, according to CNN Travel.
“Young people nowadays don’t care much about the privacy,” Inoue told the outlet. “Some of them say it’s okay to be [watched] for just one day.”
On days when the room is vacant, however, the host live-streams his own private room instead.
The feed is video-only, so guests will have privacy in their conversations or phone calls, Inoue told CNN Travel, but “lewd acts” in the rooms are banned.
Inoue also advised that guests are permitted to turn the lights off, and the bathroom area is out of camera range. Guests are also encouraged to keep private, sensitive information, such as their passports and credit cards, out of view.