While it’s quite normal for brand to offer freebies to the new age influencers on various social media platforms as a way to promote themselves, one website is doing just the opposite. Paltino, a luxury travel website, is charging a 20% ‘tax’ to the influencers. Tired of being the recipients of spammy influencer emails and requests every day, Paltino has decided to charge 20% extra to anyone who asks for a ‘free stay’ for being an influencer or for promising to provide free exposure to the resort.
In accordance to this policy, Palino’s announcement on their website reads: “If you say, ‘Hi I have 20k followers on Instagram, if you send me to a luxury resort for free I will take a photo and give you free exposure…’ we will be sending you a message saying ‘No thank you. However, if you’d like to book anything in the future, we will be adding a 20% influencer tax’”.
Jaeden Schafer, CEO of Paltino, tells us more about their latest tax for the influencers and their continuously thriving luxury travel website.
Interviewer: Give us a brief about your career background.
Jaeden Schafer: I have been in the travel industry for over 8 years. I started out by doing marketing and web design for travel agencies and then I shifted to management while in university. I became interested in luxury travel after my first trip to Tahiti – in which I stayed at and visited several incredible luxury resorts. With an introduction like that into the world of luxury travel, it would have been hard to leave and so I became a bit obsessed.
Interviewer: What are the services you provide via Paltino?
Jaeden Schafer: Paltino is truly a luxury first company. We sell luxury resorts and cruises with an emphasis on the South Pacific. Due to our one-on-one networking with the folks managing luxury resorts around the world, we can give guests the best luxury travel rates possible – along with free extras like airport shuttles and flower welcomes.
Interviewer: Tell us something about your recently implemented Influencer’s tax?
Jaeden Schafer: We finally broke down and implemented an influencers tax after being asked relentlessly over the last couple years if we would give “free luxury resort stays” (especially to the Soneva Jani) to “influencers” in exchange for Instagram posts. When we would tell them “no”, we would get a lot of “do you know who I am?” type of responses, and truth be told, we don’t really care about how many followers they have. At one time, influencer marketing might have worked but in a day when anyone can buy thousands of fake followers and likes it is becoming very difficult to tell who is legit. In addition to that, the ROI for us on offering a free $15,000 vacation is rarely going to be worth it. Our influencer tax is a way to show the majority of influencers with ridiculous requests that if they are going to act entitled, they are going to have to buck up and pay for it.
Interviewer: What is your opinion on the influencer culture and its impact on the travel industry?
Jaeden Schafer: Unfortunately, it is hard to go to a beach nowadays and not see people all over blocking the beach just because they are posing for the perfect Instagram shot. With everyone wanting to be an influencer, travel is becoming more about the photos you have to brag about than the people you meet and the actual experience you have. I think this shift is making travel a lot less enjoyable and meaningful for people.
Interviewer: Will you be expanding your services to more countries?
Jaeden Schafer: Currently we offer some of the most exclusive private islands and luxury resorts in French Polynesia, the Maldives and the Seychelles. We also offer luxury cruises all around the world. As we continue to negotiate and network with luxury resort owners, and invest our time and money into new avenues, we will continue to add other existing resorts.
More information about the influencer tax can be found on Paltino’s official website.