Bipartisan Senate bill attempts to restrict hotel resort fees

The proposal from senators reflects President Joe Biden's call for hotels to publish their actual rates publicly.

WASHINGTON min
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A bipartisan team in the Senate is drafting legislation to end resort fees for hotel stays.

The Hotel Fees Transparency Act is a proposed law that would create federal standards for pricing transparency that were previously primarily 'voluntary.'

According to the law, anyone marketing a hotel room or short-term rental must state up front the exact price a buyer would pay to reserve a room.

The Federal Trade Commission would oversee investigating violations, and state attorneys general might also file civil lawsuits for breaches.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who is introducing the bill with Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan, said: “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.

“This bipartisan legislation would help improve transparency so that travelers can make informed decisions.”

During his State of the Union speech in February, President Joe Biden declared that his Government would target fees across several industries, including the hospitality sector.

The bill would extend beyond hotels and cover online travel agencies, metasearch websites, and any other website that offers lodging at nightly, hourly or weekly rates at hotels, motels, inns, short-term rentals or other accommodations.

The American Gaming Association has defended the practice and wrote in a recent filing to the FTC stating it fears that legislation targeting fees could be overly broad for a hospitality industry that includes a wide variety of properties with different services.

However, resort fees have been the subject of controversy for some time now – as far back, in fact, as 2016.


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