Two members of the United States Senate have introduced a
bill designed to force hotels and resorts to be more transparent about fees,
dubbed the Hotel Fees Transparency Act.
According to NBCNews.com,
the bipartisan bill was introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen.
Jerry Moran, R-Kan, and would require “anyone advertising a hotel room or a
short-term rental to clearly show upfront the final price a customer would pay
to book lodging.”
As part of the legislation, the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) would be responsible for “pursuing violations,” with each state’s attorney
general having the power to bring civil action for violations.
“Too often, Americans making reservations online are being
met with hidden fees that make it difficult to compare prices and understand
the true cost of an overnight stay,” Sen. Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan
legislation would help improve transparency so that travelers can make informed
Data from Consumer Reports showed that the hotel industry
brought in $2.9 billion in resort fees in 2018. As a result, U.S. President Joe
Biden announced in February that his administration would target junk fees in
various industries, including hotels and resorts.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) found
that only six percent of hotels nationwide charge a mandatory
resort/destination/amenity fee, at an average of $26 per night.
AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers released a statement in support
of the new bill:
“The Hotel Fees Transparency Act is an important bill
that will create a single standard for mandatory fee display across the entire
lodging ecosystem – from hotels to online travel agencies, metasearch sites,
and short-term rental platforms.”
“We know consumers shop for travel across multiple sites,
and this bill is a pivotal step toward creating a more transparent booking
process for guests. We commend Senator Klobuchar and Senator Moran for their
work on this issue and for recognizing the need to create a level playing field
for all types of lodging providers and distributors.”
“We look forward to working with the senators and their
colleagues on Capitol Hill on this crucial topic.”
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