Hotel industry unites against human trafficking

Written by  //  September 24, 2014  //  In-Brief  //  No comments

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César Rey (right), board member of the Ricky Martin Foundation, discusses the problem of human trafficking, as Milton Segarra (left) and ?? (center) listen.

César Rey (right), board member of the Ricky Martin Foundation, discusses the problem of human trafficking, as Milton Segarra (left) and Viviana Ferraioli, executive director of the Ricky Martin Foundation, (center) listen.

Meet Puerto Rico has partnered with the Ricky Martin Foundation to educate the local tourism industry on the impact of human trafficking and its direct effect on the image of the destination, where the nonprofits claim it “is a reality and has serious implications.”

“Human trafficking is a serious issue and so we have established this partnership with the Ricky Martin Foundation to educate and provide the industry with the necessary knowledge and tools to identify and respond appropriately to possible cases of human trafficking,” said Milton Segarra, president of Meet Puerto Rico.

During a recent workshop, César Rey, principal investigator of the so-called modern slavery in Puerto Rico and a board member of the Ricky Martin Foundation, presented the second study by the Foundation entitled, “Human trafficking: A modern form of slavery in Puerto Rico.”

One of the most relevant pieces of research for the tourism industry, conducted by Rey, is data supporting that as a result of the closure of nightclubs in San Juan, prostitution has moved to various alternate locations including hotels, creating a system of sophisticated sex tourism.

During the event, Meet Puerto Rico gave a donation to the Ricky Martin Foundation in the amount of $46,469 as a result of the promotional campaign “Escape the Meeting Blah!” A total of 25 hotels participated contributing $1 for every room night booked for a group or convention.

“We had an excellent response from the industry for this initiative, which not only helped to promote the destination, but also raised a significant amount of money to benefit the Ricky Martin Foundatin,” said Segarra. “The tourism industry has a high sense of social responsibility and this proves it,” he concluded.

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