Hotels and motels are meant to provide safe and comfortable accommodations for travelers and tourists. Unfortunately, many of these establishments also become hosts of sexual exploitation, whether it’s in the form of sex trafficking, prostitution, pornography, or pornography/sex expos or conventions.
The No Vacancy for Exploitation project provides individuals, corporations, and governmental policy makers with the tools to send a clear message: there is no room for sexual exploitation in the hotel industry.
There have already been numerous victories for human dignity in the hotel industry.
As a result of efforts by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) – which includes brands such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Candlewood & more – Starwood Hotels – which includes St. Regis, Westin, Sheraton & more – and Hyatt Hotels all changed corporate policies to stop distributing on-demand hardcore pornography in their guest rooms across all brands by the end of 2016.
Two local Houston hotels, a Hilton and a Holiday Inn, also cancelled contracts with a pornography expo amid concerns of the event’s potential to increase demand for sex trafficking and prostitution in the area.
Sign the Petition for Wyndham to Change Its Policies
Tell This Company to Retract Wyndham’s Award
Last year, the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference presented Wyndham president and CEO Geoff Ballotti with the Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award.
This award honors an executive, entrepreneur, company or association in the hospitality industry that has shown exemplary efforts in promoting the hotel and tourism business.
Take action and email the conference to recommend that they rescind this award considering the Wyndham policies that allow and facilitate sexual exploitation.
Sign The Pledge
* The Pledge is for Individuals & Organization
Ask Hotels to Stop Facilitating Exploitive Events
Report Suspected Sex Trafficking
If you suspect sex trafficking, or human trafficking, report the tip to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1 (888) 373-7888.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.
Fight Trafficking. Take a Photo!
Help fight trafficking by uploading photos of your hotel room. These photos will be used to determine where perpetrators of sex trafficking are committing their crimes.
Speak Up at Hotels
If you are staying at a hotel that offers pornography, you can demand that they turn off these channels before you even go to the room. They do have the ability to remove!
This will clearly send the message that this is material that is not acceptable.
In addition, mention to them that many other hotels have recognized that it is not ok to profit from and facilitate sexual exploitation – Marriott, Omni, Drury, Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, and InterContinental Hotels Group have all implemented no-porn policies.
Choose a Porn-Free Hotel
Hotels that we know don’t no longer sell or never sold pornography include: Omni Hotels & Resorts, Drury Hotel, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott Hotels
Hotels who have recently changed their policy and are working to change existing contracts include: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) which includes brands such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Candlewood & more, Starwood Hotels which includes St. Regis, Westin, Sheraton & more, and Hyatt Hotels. Changed Policies Expected be fully implemented across all brands by end of 2016.
If you are unsure about a location you hope to reserve, we encourage you to call the hotel before booking and ask.
Protected: Stay updated on these projects
National Center on Sexual Exploitation has confirmed that the following hotel chains have corporate brand standards and rules in place that prohibit their hotels (franchisees included) from selling pornography.
- Omni Hotels & Resorts (implemented in 2001)
- Drury Hotels
- Hilton Worldwide (implemented as of July 2016)
- Marriott Hotels (implemented as of 2014)
- InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) which includes brands such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Candlewood & more (to be fully implemented across all brands by end of 2016)
- Starwood Hotels which includes St. Regis, Westin, Sheraton & more (to be fully implemented across all brands by end of 2016)
- Hyatt Hotels (to be fully implemented across all brands by end of 2016)
There are other hotels, and franchises within major chains, that have also changed their policies to get out of the pornography distribution business. If you are unsure about a location you hope to book, we encourage you to call the hotel before booking and ask. If they do sell it, take a moment to issue a complaint.
If a hotel or motel is distributing pornography, you should leave comments and make a formal complaint to both the manager and to their corporate office. Here are some messaging tips:
- Always remain calm, and respectful, but firm. Managers and hotel staff are often unaware of the degrading and harmful nature of pornography.
- Inform them that the distribution of obscene (hardcore) pornography is illegal on hotel/motel TV, on cable/satellite TV, Internet, in retail shops, through the mail, and by common carrier. By providing and selling this content, hotels become potentially liable for federal prosecution. (18 U.S.C. 1461-1468, and 47 U.S.C. 223.) Learn more about obscenity law here.
- Inform them that pornography is linked to increases in sexual violence. A 2015 meta-analysis of 22 studies from seven countries found that internationally the consumption of pornography was significantly associated with increases in verbal and physical aggression, among males and females alike.(1)
- Inform them that hotel pornography typically contains themes of racism, incest, young girls, and gang rape.
- Inform them that by providing this material, hotels risk exposing children or adolescents to hardcore pornography.
(1) (Paul J. Wright, Robert S. Tokunaga, and Ashley Kraus, “A Meta-Analysis of Pornography Consumption and Actual Acts of Sexual Aggression in General Population Studies,” Journal of Communication 66, no. 1 (February 2016): 183–205.
Many companies and organizations have guidelines regarding employee travel. Ask your company to adopt a more conscious policy that would help combat sexual exploitation by encouraging them to only allow stay at hotels that are proactively opposing sexual exploitation. This includes hotels who provide training for hotel employees on recognizing signs of human trafficking, enacting plans for when they witness likely child exploitation, and who refuse to profit from pornography.
When you go to your company leadership, the following points may be of help to you:
- Pornography use creates a potentially hostile work environment: pornography depicts and normalizes violence against women. (See endsexualexploitation.org/publichealth for research on this subject.) Internet pornography is also shown to normalize the notion that women are sex objects among both adolescent boys and girls. (1)
- Pornography fuels the demand for sexual exploitation: An analysis of 101 sex buyers compared to 100 men who did not buy sex found that sex buyers masturbate to pornography more often than non-sex buyers, masturbate to more types of pornography, and reported that their sexual preferences changed so that they sought more sadomasochistic and anal sex. (2) Other research also demonstrates an association between purchase of commercial sex acts and pornography use. (3)
(1) Jochen Peter and Patti Valkenburg, “Adolescent’s Exposure to a Sexualized Media Environment and Their Notions of Women as Sex Objects,” Sex Roles 56 (2007): 381-395; Jane D. Brown and Kelly L. L’Engle, “X-Rated: Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors Associated with U.S. Early Adolescents’ Exposure to Sexually Explicit Media,” Communication Research 36, no. 1 (February 2009): 129-151.
(2) Melissa Farley, Emily Schuckman, Jacqueline M. Golding, Kristen Houser, Laura Jarrett, Peter Qualliotine, Michele Decker, “Comparing Sex Buyers with Men Who Don’t Buy Sex: ‘You can have a good time with the servitude’ vs. ‘You’re supporting a system of degradation.’” Paper presented at Psychologists for Social Responsibility Annual Meeting July 15, 2011, Boston, MA. San Francisco: Prostitution Research & Education (2011).
(3) Steven Stack, Ira Wasserman, and Roger Kern, “Adult Social Bonds and Use of Internet Pornography,” Social Science Quarterly 85 (2004): 75–88; Martin A. Monto and Nick McRee, “A Comparison of the Male Customers of Female Street Prostitutes With National Samples of Men,” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 49, no. 5 (2005): 505–529; Martin A. Monto, “Summary Report for National Institute of Justice Grant #97-IJ-CX-0033 ‘Focusing on the Clients of Street Prostitutes: A Creative Approach to Reducing Violence Against Women’” (October 30, 1999).
These successes highlight efforts that the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has been a part of. There are thankfully many more victories in this effort with hotels, especially helping to combat sex trafficking.
NCOSE Drafts Model Brand Standards for Major Hotels Regarding Exploitive Events
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is calling on major hotels to adopt new brand standards regarding pornography, or sexploitation, events. It is vital that mainstream hotels reject facilitating sexual exploitation, and that they do not subject their staff and community to the harmful secondary effects such events produce.
Two Hotels Cancel Hosting a Pornography Expo
In less than two weeks, two hotels in Houston, TX, (Hilton Houston Galleria Area Hotel, and the independently owned Holiday Inn Southwest hotel) opted to break contracts with the TEXXXAS porn event. It’s significant that socially responsible corporations are refusing to do business with this expo in light of the many harms associated with pornography. Among…
IHG removes porn, makes statement against “sexual exploitation”
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), an international hotel company, worked with NCOSE to ensure pornography distribution is prohibited in all of its hotel chains, globally. IHG sent a communication to all of its hotels, informing them of the policy re-enforcement to be implemented as soon as respective contracts run out. IHG has also pledged to continuously…
Starwood agrees to stop selling porn, condemns all forms of exploitation
This global hotel chain was a 2016 Dirty Dozen List target for its sale of hardcore pornography via on-demand television offerings. Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, which includes brands like the Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, Aloft, Le Meridien, and more, implemented a new policy to no longer provide pornography choices as part of their pay-per…
Hyatt Hotel Corporation Rejects Profits from Porn
Hyatt Hotel Corporation changed its policy and will now remove all on-demand pornography from its guestrooms worldwide. “Hyatt was eager to work with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation after we reached out to the corporation to share concerns about the neurological and psychological harms of pornography,” said Patrick Trueman, President and CEO of NOCSE….
After nearly three years on the Dirty Dozen List, Hilton Worldwide stops selling porn
Hilton Worldwide, one of the world’s leading hotel and leisure companies with operations in more than in 85 countries, announced on August 17, 2015 that it is joining the ranks of competitors such as Marriott, Omni, Drury, Ritz-Carlton and Nordic Choice Hotels, with its implementation of a no pornographic video policy across their brand. A…
After long battle, Marriott finally changes their porn policy
After years of lobbying by a large coalition of groups, including us at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formerly Morality in Media), Citizens for Community Values, American Family Association, Focus on the Family, and others, Marriott Hotels & Resorts announced in 2011 that they would be dropping pornography from their locations. While a major…
Robert Rowling of Omni Hotels: “I don’t want this in my hotels!”
In an October 2000 New York Times article, Omni’s president, Jim Caldwell, said that his company’s decision to remove the sex-videos would cost it an estimated $1.8 million per year. The company stated that “[t]he anticipated loss in revenue demonstrates the company’s commitment to the issue. Omni Hotels has already removed adult magazines from the…
STATEMENT – National Center on Sexual Exploitation Files Suit Against Wyndham Hotels, Super 8, Motel 6 for Profiting from Child Sex Trafficking
WASHINGTON, DC (January 30, 2020) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, seeking damages against Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc., Choice Hotels International, Inc. and G6 Hospitality, LLC., for facilitating and profiting from the…
In 2011, a Change.org petition was launched to address rampant gang-based sex trafficking in Wyndham hotels. The petition argued: From 2006 to 2011, members of the Crips gang in San Diego ran a child sex trafficking ring of at least 16 girls out of various area hotels. Two of the properties on which many instances…
Excerpt from AP COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Lawyers representing human trafficking victims want a single federal judge to oversee multiple lawsuits alleging that major hotel chains have ignored human trafficking taking place on their premises. Attorneys have asked a federal panel to consolidate at least 21 such lawsuits pending in 11 states into a single…
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has taken a significant step forward in bringing a measure of justice to survivors of sex trafficking this week. NCOSE is co-counsel on a case that was filed against nationwide hotel chain Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc. and others for knowingly facilitating the sex trafficking of a 16-year-old girl…
NCOSE 2018 Impact Report: The Fall of Online Trafficking Titan Backpage; Walmart Removes Cosmo; Comcast Safer for Kids; And More!
2018 was our most successful year to date, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Whether your support was financial, taking actions through our website, praying for our movement, sharing our social media posts, or simply telling your friend about the issue of sexual exploitation, you helped make 2018 the strongest year for our organization…
We asked our friends, Love People Not Pixels, in Houston if they could lead the charge directly in getting an event that eroticized violence against women canceled. Our CESE Summit has energized and united many of the groups in Houston and they were eager (and hopeful) to take it on.
To my dear allies and friends in this fight, I want to extend my warmest thanks to you for your generous support of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation in 2017. Your dedication to defending human dignity is a personal inspiration to myself and our team, as we are reminded that so many individuals across…
Pornographic or sexually oriented conventions, expos, or conferences held in hotels risk the safety and welfare of hotel staff and patrons. Sexually exploitive events are those that promote sexually oriented businesses—businesses whose purpose it is to stimulate, titillate, or arouse the sexual fantasies of patrons, or facilitate the exchange of commercial or group sex acts….
Here are links to graphics and flyers to help spread the word, as well as other groups who are impacting policy changes in the hotel industry for the fight against sexual exploitation.