The American Hotel & Lodging Association’s AHLA Foundation has unveiled its inaugural No Room for Trafficking (NRFT) Advisory Council, consisting of prominent figures from the hotel and lodging industry. This move signifies the industry’s collective efforts to address the pressing issue of human trafficking.

The NRFT Advisory Council will play a crucial role in spearheading and shaping unified initiatives within the hotel industry to support survivors of human trafficking, empowering them with essential resources for their journey toward independence and self-sufficiency.

The council aims to inspire the industry at large to join the ongoing fight against human trafficking.

One notable initiative led by the NRFT Advisory Council is the establishment and oversight of the NRFT Survivor Fund, which will provide vital resources to community-based organisations engaged in supporting survivors of human trafficking.

Continued efforts and commitment

The AHLA Foundation’s announcement today reinforces the hotel industry’s ongoing dedication to combating human trafficking and supporting survivors’ economic stability.

Since 2020, the NRFT programme has provided free anti-trafficking training to hundreds of thousands of hotel employees in collaboration with the charity PACT (Protect All Children From Trafficking) USA, raising awareness of the issue within the industry and among stakeholders.

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In 2022, the AHLA Foundation expanded its efforts by introducing the industry’s first-ever Survivor Fund, which has raised an impressive $3.4m to date.

To further demonstrate its commitment, the AHLA Foundation will match the NRFT Survivor Fund’s contributions up to $5 million.

The second annual NRFT Summit will take place in the summer of 2023. At the summit, the NRFT Advisory Council will announce the recipients of the inaugural NRFT Survivor Fund grants.

Diverse and respected council members

The NRFT Advisory Council has a diverse and influential line-up of industry leaders:

• Co-Chair: Farah Bhayani, general counsel and chief compliance officer, G6 Hospitality, LLC

• Co-Chair: Joan Bottarini, chief financial officer, Hyatt Hotels Corporation

• Jay Caiafa, chief operating officer, The Americas, IHG Hotels & Resorts

• Paul Cash, general counsel and chief compliance officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

• George Limbert, president, Red Roof Franchising, LLC

• Katherine Lugar, executive vice-president of corporate affairs, Hilton

• John Murray, president and CEO, Sonesta International Hotels

• Mitch Patel, president and CEO, Vision Hospitality Group

• Kelly Poling, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer, Extended Stay America

• Tricia Primrose, executive vice-president and chief global communications and public affairs officer, Marriott International

• Marsha Ray, senior vice-president of operations, Aimbridge Hospitality

• Ben Seidel, president and CEO, Real Hospitality Group

• Simone Wu, senior vice-president and general counsel, Choice Hotels International

By bringing together industry leaders and fostering collaboration, the AHLA Foundation and the NRFT Advisory Council are determined to make a lasting impact in the fight against human trafficking.

Through their collective efforts, they strive to create a safer and more supportive environment for survivors while driving meaningful change across the hotel and lodging industry.