Statement on Hurricane Dorian Price Gouging

[Tallahassee, Fla] The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has issued the following statement from Carol Dover, CEO/President, regarding reports of price gouging during Hurricane Dorian:

“As Floridians were bracing for Hurricane Dorian, Attorney General Ashley Moody received multiple reports of price gouging for lodging establishments throughout the state. The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association immediately distributed messaging to our members, reminding them that price gouging is illegal.

“It is our understanding that some of these reports may have been the result of software lodging facilities use that automatically controls pricing based on availability of rooms. This software does not discern the difference between high demand as the result of a state of emergency and high demand as the result of a popular event. With this knowledge, we urged our members to begin actively monitoring their room prices via the booking software and to override pricing as needed. Additionally, we suggested members adjust their inventory to show ‘no vacancy’ rather than allowing the booking software to display an exorbitant price to consumers.

“Price gouging goes against the very foundation of the hospitality industry, which seeks to make people feel welcome and safe. FRLA fully supports General Moody’s efforts to protect Florida’s consumers, and we thank our partners at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and American Hotel and Lodging Association who have echoed our message on price gouging.”