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How do I transform my grandmother's old business into something that attracts today's traveler? This is what Tetsuya Inoue, the 27-year-old man who manages the Asahi ryokan, a modest little hotel in the Japanese city of Fukuoka , wondered .
"I was looking for a new business model," he told CNN . "Our hotel is in the sector of cheap accommodation, so we needed to add value: create something special that everyone can talk about."
So when an English tourist uploaded his experience in the ryokan to YouTube, Inoue said eureka! Today, travelers staying at their hotel can opt for room number 8 that has a camera installed that broadcasts everything that happens inside. In exchange, the stay is practically free: at 100 yen a night, about 83 cents.
Voyeurs around the world interested in following such a broadcast can do so through the ryokan YouTube account, with more than 2,000 subscribers. Although the most morbid may disappoint you. What is transmitted is only video, no sound . So guests can hold conversations or calls in private. It is also not allowed to have sex. The bathroom is separate and there are no cameras.
Inoue has a total of 10 rooms that it sells for about 24 euros a night, but it is hoped that travelers are encouraged to try their experiment in room number 8. If the idea gained strength it could attract advertisers to your YouTube account and diversify your income. Meanwhile, tourists who wish to visit Fukuoka, a port city north of Kyushu Island, have a very cheap way to stay in this unique ryokan.
Those who want to see live what happens in room 8 can follow it in the link below. Inoue has warned, however, that as long as there are no guests, he will keep the camera in his office.
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