Travelers may complain about resort fees when they see the final bill, but they’re still paying them. To retain guest loyalty, hoteliers know they must provide demonstrated value for fees now more than ever.
Not only have resort fees remained in place, but some have even gone up — some by more than 10% at certain properties, David Sangree, president of Hotel & Leisure Advisors, said.
While hotel owners may worry about the potential negative impact of charging resort fees, that has not deterred the practice or slowed the rate of increase, he said.
In the broader travel industry, “hidden fees” have drawn some governmental scrutiny as the White House looks to crack down on a lack of transparency about added on fees for air fares through airlines and travel booking sites. CNN reported the Department of Transportation is proposing a rule requiring them to “disclose up front — the first time an airfare is displayed — any fees charged to sit with your child, for changing or canceling your flight, and for checked or carry-on baggage.”
There have been no signs as of yet that hotels will face the same scrutiny in relation to resort fees.
Rentyl Resorts Managing Principal Nick Falcone said added fees also have not diminished the hospitality industry in any noticeable way.
“What I’ve seen is that the resort fees haven’t changed in our business from prior to the pandemic. We’ve seen that there have been no comments from guests that are abnormal, or change in demand based on the charging of resort fees,” he said.
Rentyl partners with resorts around the world to offer bookings and vacation packages. Rentyl Resorts’ portfolio includes the Margaritaville Resort Orlando and Atlantis Paradise Island in Bahamas.
Falcone added that as long as resorts are justifying fees by providing value, they are usually accepted by the traveling public.
“The issue with these fees are when hotels are charging them and providing zero value, which occurs often,” he said.