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Human Trafficking and the Hospitality Industry

Traffickers often take advantage of the privacy and anonymity accessible through the hospitality industry. Hotels and motels can be especially attractive locations for all forms of trafficking; however, human trafficking also occurs at sporting events, theme parks, cruise ships, and many other areas in the tourism industry. Staff are not necessarily educated on how to recognize and report signs of trafficking.

Our Hospitality Toolkit offers tips and resources that can help you inform and educate hospitality employees about human trafficking. It includes posters of human trafficking warning signs for hotel and motel staff; housekeeping, maintenance, and room service staff; concierge, bellman, front desk, security, and valet staff; and food and beverage staff.

Does your team recognize the signs?


  • Individuals show signs of malnourishment, poor hygiene, fatigue, sleep deprivation, untreated illness, injuries, and/or unusual behavior.
  • Individuals lack freedom of movement or are constantly monitored.
  • Individuals have no control over or possession of money or ID.
  • Individuals dress inappropriately for their age or have lower quality clothing compared to others in their party.

A woman in a housekeeping uniform holding a bucket and mop.

  • Requests room or housekeeping services (additional towels, new linens, etc.), but denies hotel/motel staff entry into room.
  • Presence of multiple computers, cell phones, pagers, credit card swipers, or other technology.
  • Extended stay with few or no personal possessions.
  • Excessive amounts of sex paraphernalia in rooms (condoms, lubricant, lotion, etc.)

A man in a porter's uniform holding a luggage bag.

  • The same person reserves multiple rooms.
  • Room is rented hourly, less than a day, or for long-term stay that does not appear normal.
  • Individuals selling items to or begging from patrons or staff.
  • Car parking lot regularly parked backward, so the license plate is not visible.

A man dressed in a waiter's uniform holding a tray and drink.

  • Individuals loitering and soliciting male patrons.
  • Individuals waiting at a table or bar and picked up by a male (trafficker or customer).
  • Individuals asking staff or patrons for food or money.
  • Individuals taking cash or receipts left on tables.

  • To report suspected human trafficking to Federal law enforcement:

  • Para reportar un posible caso de trata de personas:

  • To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline:

    or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733)

  • Obtenga ayuda de la Línea Directa Nacional de Trata de Personas:

    o enviando un mensaje de texto con HELP o INFO a BeFree (233733)

Last Updated: 11/03/2023
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