MSNBC recently published an interesting article on new and upcoming fees and taxes levied by destinations including Alaska and the U.K. The story is pretty interesting, and on first read I was right there in gripe mode with the author.
But on second reading, I focused more on the part of the article where the author, Rob Lovitt, dives into the complicated world of taxes and fees piled on travelers, and it got me thinking about the difference between the type of fees I hate and those I don’t mind as much.
The fees I really hate are the ones that sound made up, like they would have already been factored into the base price if they were anything but a company taking advantage of customers. This category includes vehicle license fees on car rentals and resort fees at hotels.
But other fees, such as the $50 cruise ship passenger fee in Alaska, make a little bit more sense for a couple of reasons. First, it’s not a fabricated charge from cruise lines, it’s a fee that comes from the destination, with the intention of funding maintenance and preservation.
Travel is great in so many ways: it inspires, invigorates, and sometimes even enlightens. But it does take a toll on popular destinations, and as worldwide travel reaches all-time highs, it makes sense for places that value their surroundings and their tourism appeal to take steps that make sure it stays appealing. And I’d rather foot a bit of that bill than the one from the hotel that’s charging me three kinds of extra for amenities I didn’t even know about until checkout.