Following the 2012 record of $2.0 billion, total fees and surcharges collected by U.S. hotels are expected to increase to a new record level of $2.1 billion in 2013.
The increase for 2013 reflects a combination of approximately 2.25 percent more occupied hotel rooms than in 2012, more fees and surcharges, and higher amounts charged at many hotels for a total increase of approximately 6.0 percent.
U.S. hotel industry fees and surcharges have increased every year except for brief periods following 2001 and 2008 when lodging demand declined. Although the lodging industry initiated fees and surcharges as a common practice before the airline industry, the airline industry collects significantly more than the lodging industry, approximately 10 times more.
Examples of hotel fees and surcharges include: resort or amenity fees, early departure fees, early reservation cancellation fees, internet fees, telephone call surcharges, business center fees, room service delivery surcharges, mini-bar restocking fees, charges for in-room safes, and automatic gratuities and surcharges. For groups, there have been increased charges for bartenders and other staff at events; special charges for set-up and breakdown of meeting rooms; fees for master folio billing; and baggage holding fees for guests leaving luggage with bell staff after checking out of a hotel but before departure.
A new emerging fee is for suburban and airport hotels and resorts to charge for open, unattended parking. Some hotels have added this charge with no operational changes, while some have added one or more electronic key card operated gates for entry and exit.