What makes “Instant Hotel” a little different from other
reality game shows is that it pits a group of entrepreneurs in the hospitality
industry and share economy against each other. Each couple owns an instant
hotel, which means they rent out their homes to vacationers. The other couples
visit the hotel and rank it based on the home itself, local amenities and
attractions, a good night’s sleep and value for the money. These scores, all on
a scale of 1 to 10, are combined with the interior design professional’s score.
In addition, the group of 8 are given a score from the hosts based on how the
home was left and if all the rules were followed. The winner of the game gets a
trip to California to stay at an exclusive instant hotel rumored to be run by a
So, how do you win this game? Since it’s the first season,
episode two, it doesn’t appear that many of the participants are looking to win
in the traditional sense – getting the prize. Instead, they’re looking to enjoy
themselves, see what other instant hotels are doing and just go along for a
good time. The mother/daughter team tried to plant the seeds of some sort of
alliance against the two gay men, but it was more of a “let’s not let them win
because we don’t like them” kind of thing.
If someone wanted to win, they could rate every experience
they were on with a zero. The scores are anonymous, and it would probably be
too late before anyone did the math to figure out what was going on. That same
team could then rate their guests as a zero, and it would still put them ahead
but reveal the strategy. This would work best with a team that is later in the
series. No one knows when they will be the hosting hotel, but even the first
hotel could rate its guests with a six without giving anything away.
However, that’s not actually the point of this competition.
The point is for every hotel to get more guests after the episodes air. How do
we get more people to come to our hotel rather than the other hotels featured
and the other hotels in our area? The first step is to have a great hotel. The
second step is to treat your guests well. The third step is to hope the guest
at your hotel on this show say good things about your hotel. Whatever happens,
the hotel experience needs to be memorable so that no one forgets what your
hotel was like.
These steps should help the team connect with the viewing
audience in some way and improve booking rates. More needs to happen though.
People need to feel like the team is made of people they want to hang out with.
They need to feel like the team is something they can support. Most
importantly, team members need to find a way to create a story that will last
and motivate people to book.
The longer-term gain from “Instant Hotel” is increased
tourism for Australia from both nationals and foreigners. So, there needs to be
a minimum of bad-mouthing of places and hotels and a maximum of showing off the
best the country has to offer. Could a team employ a zero-sum strategy? Sure,
and while it might win that team the trip to California, it would undermine the
meta game goals of improved bookings at their own hotel and improved tourism
for Australia. Because who would want to stay with a team that lied to win?