Over 200 members, allied members, and guests of the Washington Lodging Association attended the event and learned about the crime of sex trafficking and its impact on the lodging industry in a panel presentation about the BEST Inhospitable to Trafficking Project.
Cindy Fanning, Moderator, Chair of the Board of the Washington Lodging Association
Dr. Mar Smith, Executive Director of BEST
Michael Pitstick, General Manager of Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport
Sgt. Jaycin Diaz, Seattle Police Vice Section, High Risk Victims Unit
Sandip Soli, Attorney, Cairncross & Hemplemann (not pictured)
Here are some facts the panelists covered:
- 300-500 kids are being prostituted on any given night in King County
- The average age of entry into prostitution is between the ages of 13-15 years old. A majority of prostituted adults were first introduced to ‘the life’ as victims of child sex trafficking.
- 89% of prostituted people want to leave prostitution but lack the means and support to do so.
- 62% of police reports on trafficking-related crimes that were prosecuted in King County mention hotels and motels as locations where the crimes took place. These hotels and motels range from economy to luxury, in the heart of downtown and in quiet suburbs. The crime is happening in all types of lodging and throughout the county.
- This crime isn’t just bad for vulnerable women and youth, it’s bad for business. It poses numerous risks to hotels, including safety risks for guests and staff, reputational risks, and serious legal risks. Trafficking is bad for business.