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SCPS' Bjorn Hanson Finds U.S. Lodging Industry Fees and Surcharges Forecast to Increase to a New Record Level in 2013 – $2.1 Billion

August 13, 2013


Following the 2012 record of $2.0 billion, total fees and surcharges collected by U.S. hotels will 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.

Fees and surcharges emerged as a common industry practice in 1997 with resort fees, one of which was called an “amenities tariff”. Energy surcharges were widely introduced in 2000.

U.S. lodging 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 fees and surcharges include: resort or amenity fees, early departure fees, early reservation cancellation fees, internet fees, telephone call surcharges, business center fees (i.e. charges for receiving faxes and sending/receiving overnight packages), 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.

Fees and surcharges are highly profitable; most have incremental profitability of 80 to 90 percent or more of the amounts collected.

The estimated amounts of fees and surcharges collected are summarized below:

Year Amount (in billions)
2013 $2.1 (forecast)
2012 2.0
2011 1.85
2010 1.7
2009 1.55
2008 1.75
2007 1.75
2006 1.6
2005 1.4
2004 1.2
2003 1.0
2002 0.55
2001 1.0
2000 1.2

These amounts are estimated based on selected interviews with industry executives and corporate travel executives, analysis of industry financial data, press releases, and information available on hotel and brand websites.

EDITORS: To interview Dr. Bjorn Hanson about this research or for more information, please contact Cheryl Feliciano at Cheryl.Feliciano@nyu.edu or 212-992-9103 or Suzanne Dawson at sdawson@lakpr.com or 212-329-1420.

About the Author
Bjorn Hanson, Ph.D., is divisional dean of the NYU-SCPS Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management. He is a hospitality and travel researcher, widely respected for his industry forecasts and for having created econometric models that transformed business analysis in the field. Prior to joining NYU-SCPS, he held the position of global industry leader, hospitality and leisure, at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

About the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Established in 1934, NYU-SCPS (scps.nyu.edu) is one of NYU’s several degree-granting schools and colleges, each with a unique academic profile. The reputation of NYU-SCPS arises from its place as the NYU home for study and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally. This is manifest in the School’s diverse graduate, undergraduate, and noncredit programs in fields such as Real Estate, Real Estate Development, and Construction Management; Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management; Global Affairs; Fundraising and Grantmaking; Advanced Digital Applications and Graphic Communications Management and Technology; Publishing; Professional Writing; Human Resource Management and Development, Marketing, Public Relations and Corporate Communication, Management and Systems, Project Management, and Accounting, Finance, and Taxation; Liberal and Allied Arts; and Foreign Languages, Translation, and Interpreting.

More than 100 distinguished full-time faculty members collaborate with an exceptional cadre of practitioner/adjunct faculty and lecturers to create vibrant professional and academic networks that annually attract nearly 5,000 degree-seeking students from around the globe. In addition, the School fulfills the recurrent continuing higher education needs of local and professional communities, as evidenced by close to 48,000 annual noncredit enrollments in individual courses, specialized certificate programs, workshops, and seminars. The School’s community is enriched by more than 25,000 degree-holding alumni worldwide, many of whom serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advisory board members.

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This Press Release is in the following Topics:
School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Cheryl Guevara | (212) 992-9103

SCPS' Bjorn Hanson Finds U.S. Lodging Industry Fees and Surcharges Forecast to Increase to a New Record Level in 2013 – $2.1 Billion

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