Hotel fees to rise to record $1.8 billion in 2011

A much better looking tea bag, from Tea Leaves, with a label stating Organic Long Life Green. It cost US$14 (before tax and tips) at the New York Palace Hotel but unfortunately I couldn’t tell how much longer my life has been extended, if any at all. Ok, the view at Room 3420 was nice, over looking St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Madison Avenue at 51th Street. So maybe the tea was part of the intangible that enlighten us hence prolong our life.
Just the other day, I heard that American hotel industry is heading into a banner year with nearly 2 billions just from fees, beds aside. Geeeeish, that’s swell. I was just wondering where on earth did they come up with that much fees but I understood when I failed to located a coffee maker/tea pot in the room. $20 for a pot of tea perhaps I’d rather have it at the Palm Court instead a generic hotel room? Oh well. Looking out the window – yes, I got a window seat, the famed Cathedral was beneath me, so that might make up for it, ha ha ha. I’m easy to please.

By Roger Yu, USA Today, Sept 22, 2011

Fewer hotel guests may be watching $13 movies or making long-distance calls from the room phone, but U.S. hotels will earn a record $1.8 billion in fees and surcharges this year, according to a new study by Bjorn Hanson, a professor at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management.

“The increase (from $1.7 billion in 2010) reflects a combination of 4% to 5% more in occupied hotel rooms than in 2010, plus new or higher fees and surcharges at many hotels, especially resorts,” he says. “Most (fees and surcharges) have incremental profitability of 80% to 90% or more, so they represent significant contributors to industry profits.”

MORE: Airline fees now top out at $450

Hotel fees and surcharges emerged in the late 1990s, starting with resort fees, and have steadily increased in recent years.

Hotels also often charge for early departures, canceling reservations, Internet Wi-Fi, receiving faxes or packages, delivering room service, restocking the mini-bar and using in-room safes.

Group customers have also seen increased charges for bartenders and other staff at events, charges for setting up meeting rooms and baggage holding fees.

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