Research Insights Lodging Tax Compliance: Reducing Risk and Streamlining Efficiency

Lodging Tax Compliance: Reducing Risk and Streamlining Efficiency

May 2022

Time and again the travel and hospitality industries have proven their resilience. The evolution of traveler expectations over recent years – and certainly since the onset of the pandemic – has transformed nearly everything about how hotels do business, and nothing stands out quite as starkly today as the shift in traveler behavior.

Despite the massive revenue losses endured in 2020, the industry has once again shown its resilience, with industry stakeholders evolving their businesses in real time to adapt to changing market conditions.

For hotels to succeed in today's market they must consistently track changes in guest preferences to provide an optimal experience – from the initial booking process down to the final guest check-out. To do so, hotels of all sizes are adopting technology tools to ensure that guest expectations for seamlessness, safety, and an optimal experience are met at each step of their interaction with the property – without getting bogged down in manual and inefficient processes.

While most hotels have thus far focused on the guest-facing aspects of technology adoption, the importance of modernizing back-end tech cannot be overlooked. The real winners of the post-pandemic world will be those who have evaluated the true return on investment of both front- and back-end technologies, and seized opportunities to automate manual, inefficient and risk-generating processes. Often overlooked, the mandated collection, reporting and remittance of transactional taxes such as sales and occupancy tax check all three of these boxes, placing a large burden on staff while simultaneously assuming risk should an auditor find any inconsistency in reporting and/or filing.

If we know one thing to be true it is that the hospitality industry will endure. While traveler profiles, intents and logistics may change, they will certainly return. It is up to us to ensure our businesses are prepared to succeed both now and in the future, as our industry plans for forward progress.

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