U.S. hotels will collect 5.4% more in surcharges in 2012 than they did last year, according to the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

NYU said hotel fees have more than tripled in the past decade because of a combination of greater volume and more aggressive collection of surcharges such as general resort fees, in-room phone bills and bar charges.

Hotels will collect $1.95 billion in surcharges this year, up from $1.85 billion in 2011 and from $550 million in 2002, according to the NYU study. About 3.5% of this year’s increase will be strictly from the boost in occupied rooms.

Surcharges, which also include cancellation fees, early departure charges and room-service delivery fees, are profit centers because their margins are in the 80% to 90% range.

Total annual U.S. hotel revenue is estimated to be in the range of $100 billion to $120 billion, putting surcharges at almost 2% of total revenue.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.

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