HONOLULU — Resort fees are now rampant in top tourism destinations like Florida, Hawaii, Las Vegas and parts of the Caribbean, however a consumer protection agency in at least one state is pulling out all the stops to bring hidden fees to light, in a move that could drive a hidden fee crackdown in other destinations.
The Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection says it’s investigating resort fees charged by hotel operators as part of a nationwide effort to curb hidden industry fees.
Hawaii News Now reports that state and federal regulators are cracking down on hotels that charge resort fees without fully disclosing the charges to visitors.
The resort fees cover costs of hotel amenities ranging from use of hotel gyms, telephone services, access to business centres and other amenities.
Resort fees at Hawaii hotels typically range between US$10 and $40 a night and aren’t usually included in the standard room rate online.
Stephen Levins, the Office of Consumer Protection’s executive director, says a hotel operator can be fined up to $10,000 per violation if the resort fees are found to be unfair or deceptive.