Ask Andy: "tourist taxes" - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: "tourist taxes"

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(WMC TV) - Hotel and resort charges can be particularly sneaky.

Consumer Reports' shopping trends expert Tod Marks ('Tightwad Tod') said the hospitality industry often justifies hiding or disguising those charges because they hit tourists harder than the locals.

But sooner or later, you and I will be tourists.

Marks said we have a right to know some of the sneakier hotel and resort charges that are, more or less, "tourist taxes."

* NON-USE FEES. Marks said some resorts will charge you a fee for the golf course or tennis courts even if you don't use them. Ask the resort's clerk or manager up front if they do that.

* AUTOMATIC TIPS. Some resorts automatically charge a tip for staff, without allowing you the choice of how much to tip or whether to tip at all.

* CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT PENALTIES. They hit you with fees for checking in too early or leaving too late.

Marks offered an easy solution to these tourist taxes:  SPEAK UP! Protest the charges!

He said 10 to 20 percent of tourists who make noise about the charges get them reversed.

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