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Hotel Fees Reach Record Levels

Fees and surcharges at U.S. hotels are expected to hit a record $2.93 billion this year, according to analysis from Bjorn Hanson, industry consultant and adjunct professor at the New York University School of Professional Studies.

The forecast follows the record $2.7 billion reached in 2017, marking an 8.5 percent increase from 2017 to 2018. Urban hotel fees, similar to “resort fees,” contributed to the increase. These fees, said Hanson, are now common in major cities, averaging between $20 and $40.

Sometimes the fees are shown as part of the “total” cost of occupancy to a guest rather than as a specific extra charge. The services related to these fees and surcharges range from no new services to planned or unscheduled activities such as visits to local attractions, receptions, printing and copying, overnight package delivery, “complimentary” bottled water, newspapers, early or late check-out and others. Hanson expects 2019 will mark another record year for fees and surcharges, with the largest percentage increase to come from service and amenities fees, i.e., urban resort fees.

By Dan Booth