A tourism industry free from trafficking – Stockholm Seminar

On 11 May 2015, RealStars hosted a roundtable meeting on the topic of ‘Innovation Against Trafficking’ at the Scandic Hotel in Stockholm. Vinnova financed the seminar. Close to fifty representatives from Stockholm’s tourism industry participated and speakers included delegates from regional government authorities, Police from the Swedish city of Falun, RealStars, Swedish Destination Development and Scandic Hotels.

Following a pilot project in west-Sweden during the spring, participants were able to hear about insights, ideas, tools and the coordination model for which the groundwork was laid in Gothenburg.

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Just as in Gothenburg, the discussion demonstrated the need for this focus as well as the need for the Police to have adequate resources to be able to address the issue of prostitution and human trafficking. During the seminar, a number of different issues were raised, including:

“It is important to have a policy against trafficking and prostitution that includes the guests – because maybe guests see more of what is going on than the staff does?”

 “The guest perspective is important when many of us are striving to create sustainable destinations and to educate guests to take responsibility for their surroundings – but sustainability isn’t just about the environment – it is also about social responsibility.”

 “It is important to work across boundaries with other industries. But cooperation can also take place inside the hotel. It is important that people working in the bar talk with people in reception – ‘do you know what’s going on in room 342’”

 “Prostitution is linked to serious crime – it is part of our security activities. That’s why hotel management must be very clear about this.”