Headlines to Watch: TikTok, ChatGPT, and “Junk Fee” Legislation

Juli Jones, CAE, SVP, HSMAI Americas 

It seems like every day there’s a new headline about something that will disrupt hotel marketing. From the potential ban on TikTok and the latest ChatGPT platform to the debate over “junkfees,” hotel marketers need to stay on top of the issues. 

Potential TikTok Ban 

TikTok has seen tremendous growth in the past year, and many hotel brands have used the platform as part of their social media strategy. While a potential ban on TikTok in the United States could have a significant impact on hotels’ ability to reach a wider audience in the short term, in the longer term a ban could create opportunities for other platforms to fill the void. In India, for example, many competing platforms have emerged to vie for audiences after TikTok’s ban there. 


The latest update for ChatGPT is a significant revamp that boasts enhanced intelligence and a more intuitive user interface. With its new capabilities to incorporate visual media, generate marketing headlines, and create email content, it’s no surprise that generative AI is rapidly advancing and poised to become an indispensable tool for marketers. 

However, with the widespread adoption of such tools, there is a legitimate concern about homogenization of language and messaging. Will everyone sound the same if we all use AI for content generation? Or, are we already heading in that direction? 

Hotel marketers are keeping a close eye on the evolution of ChatGPT and other AI platforms, eager to see how these advancements will shape the landscape of hotel marketing. The implications of AI technology for the hospitality industry could be significant, and the stakes are high for hotels to stay ahead of the curve. 

The “Junk Fee” Debate 

In his State of the Union address, President Biden reignited the debate around what he calls “junk fees” — fees, charges, and add-ons for everything from banking services to cable and internet bills to airline and concert tickets…and hotel stays. 

For hotels, clear and transparent messaging regarding resort (and other) fees and what they cover continues to be crucial. Ensuring guests have all the necessary information prior to booking their rooms is central to ensuring consumer satisfaction. Hotels that fail to do this may find themselves struggling to retain customers and maintain a positive reputation. 

Note that, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), “these fees are not common practice in the hotel industry. Declining over the past decade, approximately only six percent of hotels currently charge resort fees — and these are the properties that have far more available amenities than other lodging facilities.” 

Discuss these issues with your team to identify the impacts that might have on your organization:  

  1. Are you using video content? Are you prepared for a ban on TikTok?  
  2. How could you use ChatGPT to improve efficiency? What “guard rails” could you put on it to ensure your voice remains unique? 
  3. Are your resort fees transparent and well-articulated?  

Further Reading:  


Categories: Marketing
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