Travel Tech


Hotel fees rise to record high, again

Danny King, Travel Weekly on September 28, 2017

U.S. hotels and resorts will once again charge a record-high amount of fees that aren't included in the room rate, as hotel operators take advantage of high occupancy rates and charge for services that had previously been complimentary.

Guests will be charged about $2.7 billion in fees this year, up about 4% from last year, according to a study by Bjorn Hanson, clinical professor at New York University's Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism.

While about 2% of that increase is attributable to more rooms being booked, hotels are also charging more in cancellation fees, business-center fees, bag-storage fees and catch-all resort fees. Such charges have a profit margin of up to 90%.

More Las Vegas hotels are charging for early check-in, while more suburban hotels are charging for on-site parking. Such fee increases are more than offsetting the drop in WiFi fees, wrote Hanson.

This year, U.S. hotel revenue will rise almost 5% to $158.5 billion, according to Phocuswright, indicating that fees account for about 1.7% of U.S. room revenue.

U.S. hotel fees have risen every year since 2010 and have almost doubled since 2005.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in early 2016 proposed a bill mandating that hotels include resort fees and all other mandatory charges in the published room rate.