For many people, booking a vacation is all about finding the best deal. Whether it’s an affordable flight or half-price last-minute hotel room, travelers want to feel that they’ve saved money - but sometimes that also means forgetting about the hidden costs of the industry.
For decades, traffickers have used the travel industry to their own advantage - using airlines to move victims to and from locations or using hotels to set up encounters between victims and those individuals purchasing sex. But we, as travelers, can take a stand against the trafficking of millions across the globe.
Through traveling with airlines that have trained their employees on how to identify trafficking or booking with tour companies that have procedures in place to respond to suspicious incidents, we can each do our part to stamp out exploitation.
Our latest report, Stamping Out Exploitation in Travel is a comprehensive look at how 70 companies in various sectors of the travel and hospitality industry are fighting human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The report establishes a way to measure progress, identifies the baseline for their engagement, and highlights best practices to encourage cross-learning within the travel industry.
For example, Delta’s News Hub Website contains numerous articles discussing human trafficking, spreading awareness about the issue, and engaging its passengers to join the fight. Caesars Entertainment’s publicly available “Commitment to Responsible Conduct" includes a response protocol to help associates appropriately report suspected instances of trafficking. By promoting the app TraffickCam, Maritz enables their team to help combat trafficking by uploading photos of the hotel rooms they stay in when they travel. The app helps law enforcement by helping to create a database of photos that can be compared to photo evidence during investigations of suspected human trafficking.
Every time you choose a hotel, airline or tour company, it is an opportunity to use your purchasing power for good—to help stop child sex trafficking. By spending your travel dollars with a member of the industry that is working to protect children, you can help give a child something invaluable - the chance to grow up free from sexual exploitation and trafficking.