Marriott agrees to include mandatory resort fees in the initial price

Marriott International is the first major hotel company to formally commit to disclosing its resort fees in advance as part of the total cost of the stay, according to the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office.

The Maryland Hospitality Company has undertakes to show the sum of its room rates and all mandatory costs – including living expenses – on the first page of its booking site after reaching an agreement with the attorney general’s office on Wednesday. The changes are expected to be implemented within the next nine months.

“Hotels shouldn’t be able to add hidden charges to your bill at the last minute, and with this regulation we are warning the hotel industry to end this deceptive practice,” said Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro. said in a statement Wednesday.

What are resort fees?

Resort fees – also known as “destination fees” or “amenity fees” – have become common practice among hoteliers over the past two decades. They have also been a nuisance fortravelers and has received negative reactions from government officials and consumer groups.

Fees are often not included in a hotel’s advertised rate, and naysayers claim they mislead customers because they are only revealed when customers go through the buying process.

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The fee, which can go up to $ 40 in major markets, would cover additional services like Wi-Fi, parking, or pool and gym access. But many of the resort’s standard features previously had no additional fees, and some were not available under pandemic-era security protocols.

Marriott’s change comes after complaint filings revealed it had made about $ 17 million resort fees in 2019, the year the District of Columbia Attorney General sued the company for its resort fee practices.

The travelers will befinally see a change ‘

Marriott said on Wednesday that its resort and destination fees have “long been” separately and clearly stated, and its agreement with the state of Pennsylvania “further improves the way resort / destination fees are fully disclosed on our US channels.”

The company will be working “over the next few months” to update the way it displays room rates.

Travelers United, a non-profit travel advocacy group, issued a statement on Friday welcoming the settlement.

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“American consumers will finally see a change in the way hotel prices are displayed after the Pennsylvania attorney general takes a stand on behalf of American consumers,” Lauren Wolfe, lawyer for Travelers United, said in the statement.

Travelers United has said he hopes other hotels will follow suit.

The group filed a lawsuit against MGM Resorts International earlier this year for its use of resort fees, and there is an ongoing lawsuit against Hilton filed by Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson in 2019.

Travelers United filed a lawsuit against MGM Resorts International, which operates a number of properties on the Las Vegas Strip, earlier this year for its use of resort fees.

Shapiro said he expects bundling mandatory resort fees with room rates to become standard practice in the future.

“Marriott is committed to correcting this practice and we expect more hotel chains to follow suit,” Shapiro said.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.

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