They don't. The article is chockablock with unverified claims:
since then, she has stayed in breathtaking hotels everywhere from Mexico to Quebec to the Cook Islands. Often, she stays for free.
While Linh and other elite influencers are usually personally invited by hotel brands,
See this post? The "influencer" misspelled the tag of the outfit that supposedly "personally invited" her. Like, spelled "balloon" with one "o." You think that's the way pay-to-play works?
“Everyone with a Facebook these days is an influencer,” she said. “People say, I want to come to the Maldives for 10 days and will do two posts on Instagram to like 2,000 followers. It's people with 600 Facebook friends saying, ‘Hi, I'm an influencer, I want to stay in your hotel for 7 days,’” she said. Others send vague one-line emails, like “I want to collaborate with you,”with no further explanation. “These people are expecting five to seven nights on average, all inclusive. Maldives is not a cheap destination.” She said that only about 10 percent of the requests she receives are worth investigating.
There's a verifiable quote. The quote? A hotel manager who says that about 10% of the requests are "worth investigating." As in, "would I think of bothering with you."
This is Chopard. They're a brand. They've got a million followers. This is one of Chopard's influencers. She's got 28m followers and an actual career.
I fully believe that there are plenty of wannabes hammering random hotels for deals, but I remain unconvinced that there's a lot of pay-to-play amongst people with less than a million followers.