The Essentials

Will Congress Pass the Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2019?

It’s rare to get Congress to agree on anything these days, but when it comes to truth in advertising in the hotel business, there’s now bipartisan support for transparency, especially when it comes to hotels posting the true rate you’re going to pay when you make a hotel reservation.

This year alone, $3 billion in revenue from hidden fees will be collected from travelers.

Many hotels have been guilty of advertising room rates without disclosing additional fees and charges.

In the industry, it’s called drip pricing, and now, a bipartisan piece of legislation — the Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2019 — has been introduced in Congress. It requires hotels to disclose all fees up front.

Now, let’s hope Congress passes the bill. In the meantime, it’s up to you to be vigilant and demand that hotels disclose what you’re going to be paying for your room on the same page where displaying their room rates.

And that doesn’t mean online. Have a conversation before you book the room.