As 2022 ends, the unexpected rate increases in the hospitality industry continue to be on the rise. Particularly hotel rates and fees, which have already increased 18% this year, are now predicted to rise another 8% in 2023. According to the 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast by CWT and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), hotel surcharges are also on the rise as well.
Even as the staffing of hotels reduced, the pandemic restrictions eased around the country, and fuel costs decreased, meeting and event planners are still directly affected by the increase in hotel rates and fees. Some planers report seeing fuel surcharges of 8-12%, covid-related safety charges, and “mandatory gratuities” for housekeeping staff, even if they don’t use the services.
Other trends in increased charges are credit card (convenience) fees. According to meeting planners, hotels, transportation companies, and restaurants are adding a 3% fee for credit card payments and often only disclose it as you pay.
The surcharges and fees seemed to decrease during the pandemic years due to reduced travel, canceled meetings, shutdowns, and revenue losses. But they are now returning, much to the dismay of planners in the travel and hospitality industry.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in 2018, hotels reaped $2.93 billion in extra charges. Now that the industry is recovering from the pandemic, planners should expect a continued resurgence of hotel fees and surcharges. Recently, some major hotel chains have responded to lawsuits with promises to be more transparent in their prices and charges. Marriott International is one of the first major hotels to publicly say it was committed to new transparency rules for pricing, including disclosing all fees upfront when customers book their hotels.
The hospitality and tourism industry is always changing and evolving, so stay tuned as more changes may be on the way for 2023.