Marriott Won’t Hide Resort Fees Anymore

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Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Marriott’s resort fee transparency, Guesty’s acquisition, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s earnings.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, May 2. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Marriott International has announced plans to disclose its resort fees in its total prices by May 15. That’s the result of a settlement with the State of Pennsylvania requiring the company to include those charges in upfront total prices, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.  

Many travelers express outrage when hotels such as Marriott charge them resort fees at the lobby front desk that are separate from the room rate. Travelers sometimes consider them gotcha fees.

O’Neill writes Marriott is one of the first major hotel groups to make the change, which relates to extra fees for services offered during a stay. Online tool ResortFeeChecker revealed many travel companies are far from transparent regarding the those additional fees for services or amenities at some properties. President Joe Biden called out companies earlier this year for not disclosing what he described as frustrating charges. The White House said more than a third of hotel guests claim to have paid resort fees.   

Marriott has reportedly made at least $206 million off the practice from self-managed resorts since 2012. 

Next, Norwegian Cruise Line’s strong onboard passenger spending in the first quarter demonstrates that the pent-up desire to cruise that people had during the pandemic hasn’t dissipated one bit, reports Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

Although the cruise line lost $159 million during the first quarter, executives took heart in the fact that gross onboard revenue per passenger cruise day was nearly 30 percent higher than its comparable period in 2019.

Norwegian ties that progress to focus on attracting more higher-spending guests, enhancing its bundled offering and increased guest touch points, starting at the time of booking to capture more revenue and prepayment prior to cabin selection.

Finally, Tel Aviv, Israel-based property management company Guesty bought vacation rental tech platform StaySense, writes Short-Term Rental Reporter Srividya Kalyanaraman.

Kalyanaraman reports Guesty will use StaySense’s technology to facilitate direct bookings as well as provide marketing tools for its customers. Guesty’s acquisition of StaySense, a Nashville-based company that provides marketing and tech solutions to vacation rental managers, is its seventh overall. Although Guesty and StaySense didn’t disclose details of the deal, StaySense CEO David Angotti confirmed it was financed by the $170 million it raised last August. 

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