With the lodging industry struggling against a protracted slump, many desparate hoteliers are tacking on new fees on services ranging from early departures to using thefax machine. A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that the addition or inflation of fees has been spurred by a five-year business slump in the sector.
"Hotels are seeking to enhance revenue and profitability, while minimizing customer complaints over unexpected surcharges," says Bjorn Hanson, global industry leader at PricewaterhouseCooper’s Hospitality & Leisure practice.
New fees that are increasingly showing up on hotel bills can range from $15 to $20 for towels, fitness center access and in-room newspaper delivery. And the mini-bar just got 20% more expensive.
Roomdelivery fees have also risen to approximately $2.50 on top of a 15% to 17.5% mandatory tip. Since consumers are often aggravated by these hidden surcharges, many hotels are disclosing all fees during the reservation process. They are also bringing their staff up to speed on what costs what and how to inform guests of the new fees before they see it on their bill.