A new bipartisan effort in Congress aims to put an end to hotel resort fees, which more and more hotels are tacking onto their regular rates, whether or not they are resorts and whether or not travelers use any services they cover.
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) are pushing their “Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2019,” aimed at making the fees illegal. The fees are also under attack in lawsuits filed by consumer groups and several state attorneys general.
When they originally appeared, it was mostly in resort areas and was sold as covering special resort services; some hotel chains now call them by other names and offer different lists of what they cover, including use of safes, daily newspapers and more.
The bill, if passed, would make it illegal to "advertise in interstate commerce a rate for a place of short-term lodging that does not include all required fees, excluding taxes and fees imposed by a government."
At stake is quite a bit of money: Congresswoman Johnson estimates the 2019 take at $3 billion. Whether or not the bill advances, the hue and cry over the fees is gaining momentum.