Hotel Fees, Surcharges Forecast to Reach Record $2.55 Billion in 2016
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Despite the lowest percent increase since 2009, the total fees and surcharges collected by U.S. hotels in 2016 are forecast to reach a record $2.55 billion, according to the latest research from NYU School of Professional Studies professor Dr. Bjorn Hanson.
Last year, the total reached a record of an estimated $2.45 billion.
According to Hanson's report, the 4 percent jump in 2016 is the result of a 2 percent increase in occupied hotel rooms compared to last year, more fee and surcharge categories and higher amounts charged despite lower fees for Internet access.
The report points out that some of the newest fees and surcharges being introduced include fees guaranteeing a guest a specific room, fees allowing for early check-in, fees for unattended surface parking in suburban destinations and fees for holding checked luggage.
Hotel fees and surcharges have only been a common industry practice for the past two decades, however the total dollar amount collected through them has more than doubled since 2000.
READ MORE: Resort Fees: Who Benefits, Who Suffers?
With the exception of brief periods in 2001 and 2008 the fees have increased each year.
This week's report comes six months after Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill introduced legislation that would prohibit hotels from charging guests what she called "deceptive hotel fees" by requiring hotels to include the full cost in the advertised room rate.
Including the fees in the hotel room's final rate is certain to irk hotel owners since the fees would then become subject to local taxes rather than going directly to their bottom line.
Nonetheless, Congress and consumer groups like Travelers United have taken notice of the rising number of fees and surcharges hotel guests encounter, sometimes without even knowing it.
More by Patrick Clarke
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