I am in the middle of writing the articles for the second annual Green Lodging Trends Report. Be sure to look for the final report in September. This year’s survey for the report has produced some interesting data. For example, for the first time we asked if hoteliers have a formal action plan in place to address human trafficking at their property. Fifty percent said they did.
Human trafficking and slavery are increasingly being addressed by the hotel industry. Did you know that the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), in partnership with Marriott International, ECPAT-USA, and the Polaris Project, is now offering an online training program to help hotel employees identify and respond to human trafficking at hotel properties? Your Role in Preventing Human Trafficking: Recognize the Signs, available through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), was developed in response to the growing demand from global hospitality brands for an expansion of the online course, The Role of Hospitality in Preventing and Reacting to Child Trafficking, released by AHLEI and ECPAT-USA in January 2014. The expanded training course provides an overview of the issues of human trafficking, suggested protocols for responding to suspicious activity, and signs of trafficking specific to different hospitality positions (in-room staff, restaurant, lobby, and security).
In 2004, ECPAT-USA launched The Code. The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism is an industry-driven initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.
In addition to Marriott, numerous hotel companies have signed on to The Code—Hilton, AccorHotels North America, Hyatt, Wyndham Worldwide are just a few examples.
If your property has not yet put together a formal action plan to address human trafficking, make it a priority to do so soon. There are plenty of helpful resources available.