Hotels play a key role in many human trafficking incidents, and G6 Hospitality, Hyatt Hotels, and Extended Stay America stepped up this week by donating to a fund helping victims to show that they are not turning a blind eye.
While hotels are often seen as getaways and associated with vacation, they also play a role in the dark world of human trafficking. With an estimated 24.9 million victims worldwide at any given time, hotel brands say they do not want any part in furthering trafficking schemes and certainly don’t want their names associated with such heinous activity.
Some brands have been much more vocal than others in showing support for victims and understanding their part in the process. Motel 6 parent G6 Hospitality, Extended Stay America, and Hyatt Hotels Foundation donated a total of $1 million to launch the “No Room for Trafficking Survivors Fund,” the foundation for the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) announced this week.
This fund is devoted to supporting survivors financially and improving educational resources to raise awareness.
“This donation redoubles our efforts to better train hotel employees across the industry and provides support to human trafficking survivors,” said Rob Palleschi, chief executive officer of G6 Hospitality.
Paying in cash, having little to no luggage, and requesting rooms near exits are the warning signs that hoteliers need to be on the lookout for. In a Deep Dive, “Opening Closed Doors: Can Hotels Do More to Fight Human Trafficking?,” Skift reported that “there is little empirical evidence that these prominent interventions — such as the use of hotlines, company-wide trainings, and public awareness-raising — result in lower rates of trafficking or an improved outcome for victims.
“But the scale and nature of this shape-shifting issue — it happens in every country, at every socioeconomic level, at every kind of property — means it’s hard to measure whether these efforts have brought their intended outcomes.”
The lack of documented improvement is likely due to the sneakiness of human trafficking. However, even if advancements aren’t glaringly obvious they definitely aren’t a waste of time or energy.
It doesn’t matter if companies are motivated to help for moral reasons or so that they don’t end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit—the point is that they are helping. The $1 million from G6 Hospitality, Extended Stay America, and Hyatt Hotels will support many suffering people while simultaneously making these brands look awfully good.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story stated Hyatt Hotels donated to the fund. It was the Hyatt Hotels Foundation.