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by Michael J. Shapiro | August 16, 2012
U.S. hotels are expected to collect a record $1.95 billion in fees and surcharges this year, according to a report released Wednesday by Dr. Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University. That figure would eclipse last year's record take of $1.85 billion, due primarily to a 3.5 percent rise in occupancy, along with higher fees and surcharge amounts, particularly at resorts, noted Hanson in the report. Fewer hotels are introducing the fees, he added. The U.S. lodging industry first rolled out fees in the late 1990s, in the form of resort fees, according to the report, and have increased every year except for periods following 2001 and 2008. Hotels tend to realize incremental profits of 80 to 90 percent from most fees and surcharges, Hanson noted, which can include everything from resort fees to Internet fees. Among potential increases for groups are higher rates for event staff, meeting room set-up and breakdown charges, and master folio billing fees. Following is Hanson's tally of fees and surcharges collected by the U.S. lodging industry, dating back to 2000:

Year
 Amount (in billions)
 2000 $1.2
 2001 $1.0
 2002 $0.55
 2003 $1.0
 2004 $1.2
 2005 $1.4
 2006 $1.6
 2007 $1.75
 2008 $1.75
 2009 $1.55
 2010 $1.7
 2011 $1.85
 2012 (forecast)        
 $1.95