In an effort to crack down on unethical resort fees, booking.com is implementing a new strategy.
Booking.com now is charging hotels a commission on the resort fees they collect from consumers in an effort to combat this price grab. For travelers, this is welcome news because hotels and resorts were slipping in resort fees after you have booked online from either their web site, or sites like booking.com or hotels.com
The policy will also apply to fees hotels charge for specific services such as a Wi-Fi, which often come as a surprise to tourists.
When a hotel charges extra, for example for gym access, and then has to find a way to pay a commission back to booking.com those resort fees that are added on look a lot less attractive. Now instead of making money off a travellers surprise, it is upfront on the booking.com web site hotel page and they can no longer add extras at the hotel.
The latest move is likely a response to consumer fatigue over these fees, said Charlie Leocha, president of consumer-advocacy group Travelers United.
Booking.com is one of the largest hotel booking agencies in the U.S. and, as such, the impact of this decision will be enormous,” he added.
But booking.com is just one hotel booking site online and they are behind the consumer on this. What the hotel could do, however, is just add in these fees in a total cost making the prices on booking.com inflated compared to other hotel booking sites.
Resort fees are charges that hotels will tack onto the final bill for a consumer’s stay. Sometimes, they are referred to by other names such as facility fees, destination fees, amenity fees or urban fees. They sometimes come as a nasty surprise to guests when they’re checking out.
There’s not much consistency to how they’re added to the final bill. Some hotels will list resort fees under taxes, even though the government isn’t actually collecting this money. In some cases, the fee may be charged per-room, per-night or even per-person staying at the hotel.
For hotels, the fees serve multiple purposes. Since most travel booking sites do not include them in advertised room rates, it can make a hotel appear cheaper. Additionally, hotels don’t have to pay a commission to the travel sites for this revenue. Until Booking.com’s latest move, that is.
For information on how to avoid hotel and resort fees check out our guides here: