Modern Training, Trends

We asked 300 hospitality managers about human trafficking. Here’s what we learned.

Posted on: August 23, 2023Updated on: January 24, 2024By: Richia McCutcheon

Human trafficking is a rapidly growing issue in the hospitality and foodservice industry. According to the U.S. Department of State, there are currently over 27 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Furthermore, a report from anti-trafficking nonprofit Polaris found that 75% of survivors reported coming into contact with hotels at some point during their trafficking situation. 

Hotel Service Bell Concept Hotel, Travel, Room,modern Luxury Hotel Reception Counter Desk On Background.

While frontline training around human trafficking awareness has made massive strides in the past few years, our recent poll of frontline hospitality managers uncovered an urgency around this growing issue, and the need for even more training, processes and procedures to handle human trafficking situations if and when they occur. 

Here’s what we learned. 

Human trafficking is an urgently growing concern 

Two-thirds of frontline hospitality managers polled believe human trafficking is a growing issue in the industry (that number jumps up even higher among foodservice managers). Furthermore, more than a fifth of managers reported that they, or their staff, have experienced a human trafficking incident and this has led to more than half of frontline managers revealing that their company has put processes in place to handle human trafficking situations.

Let’s dig into the results:

  • 66% of managers believe human trafficking is a growing issue in the industry
  • 22% of managers surveyed report they or their staff have experienced a human trafficking incident before
  • 52% of managers say their company currently has tactics and/or processes in place to handle human trafficking situations should they occur
66% of hospitality frontline managers believe human trafficking is a growing issue

Many frontlines still aren’t getting the training to deal with these situations

Unfortunately, over 60% of managers polled are not currently training their employees to spot human trafficking and many managers aren’t even aware of the laws in place to prioritize training hospitality workers on human trafficking. 

  • 63% of managers are not currently training their staff to spot human trafficking
  • 56% of managers are not aware of current state-specific laws put in place to help train hospitality employees to spot human trafficking
63% of hospitality frontline managers are not currently training their staff to spot human trafficking

Managers are in favor of additional training—but they need more support 

While the majority of hospitality managers polled are in favor of greater training and awareness around human trafficking, almost a third of managers believe their staff cannot successfully spot an instance of human trafficking. There’s a gap here. 

Human trafficking is an urgent concern that’s closely tied to the hospitality industry—and while programs and laws are in place to help frontline workers spot trafficking, this crucial information and support isn’t finding its way to them. There’s a massive opportunity for organizations to prioritize not just operational processes around identifying and preventing human trafficking, but also the support managers require to get that training to the people that need it most: frontline workers. 

  • 32% of managers believe their staff is incapable of successfully spotting an instance of human trafficking
  • 83% of managers are in favor of greater training and awareness of human trafficking
32% of hospitality frontline managers believe their staff is incapable of successfully spotting an instance of human trafficking

Axonify surveyed 300 hospitality and foodservices frontline managers above the age of 18 in the U.S. using the online insights platform Pollfish. This survey was completed the week of August 14, 2023.

Richia McCutcheon

As Senior Brand Marketing Manager, Richia McCutcheon spends her time sharing Axonify's story in the market and learning about what frontlines need to thrive.