November 17, 2014 // Franchising.com // PARSIPPANY, N.J. - Wyndham Hotel Group, the world's largest hotel company with approximately 7,590 hotels and part of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN), today announced its continued commitment to preventing human trafficking by partnering with Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery and restore freedom to survivors.
As part of the joint effort, Wyndham Hotel Group and Polaris are developing comprehensive training and educational tools for hotel owners and franchisees, property-level staff and employees at its corporate offices and call centers to educate them about all aspects of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery whereby criminals profit by controlling and exploiting vulnerable people. Each year, traffickers coerce thousands of women, children and men into commercial sex or forced labor services.
"With 7,590 hotels across 71 countries, Wyndham Hotel Group has the unique opportunity to make a meaningful and transformational impact on how the hotel industry contributes to the prevention of human trafficking," said Geoff Ballotti, president and chief executive officer, Wyndham Hotel Group. "Our partnership with Polaris allows us to act upon our commitment to doing the right thing by educating and preparing our employees and franchisees to identify and help prevent human trafficking."
Wyndham Hotel Group donated $150,000 and one million Wyndham Rewards® points this year to Polaris in support of its efforts. Wyndham Rewards, the company's guest loyalty program, offers hundreds of redemption options that can support Polaris and its network of service providers throughout the U.S. in acquiring safe hotel rooms for survivors of human trafficking, who often don't have a safe place to stay when they leave or escape a trafficking situation.
Wyndham Rewards members are also invited to support the cause by donating points they've earned from hotel stays to Polaris directly from their member accounts. Points donated support Polaris and its network of service providers across the U.S. by helping them to easily obtain safe shelter and supplies for survivors of human trafficking. More information is available at www.wyndhamrewards.com.
Through these efforts, Wyndham Hotel Group is proactively taking steps to help employees and franchisees understand 1) the impact their proactive efforts can have on preventing a trafficking situation, and 2) how to contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (1-888-373-7888), operated by Polaris, or law enforcement should they encounter a suspicious issue. The company is also working with its many vendors to help combat exploitative labor practices in supply chains.
"The hospitality industry plays a critical role in the fight against modern slavery, since many traffickers exploit their victims in hotels and motels," said Bradley Myles, chief executive officer of Polaris. "If we are to truly eradicate human trafficking, it's absolutely essential that companies like Wyndham take proactive steps to combat this crime at the root while also helping victims rebuild their lives. Polaris applauds Wyndham Hotel Group for integrating a responsible business culture company-wide and for actively taking such a strong stance against human trafficking."
Polaris training programs have reached over 72,000 individuals in law enforcement, social services, education, the healthcare field, the military, the courts and bar associations, private industry, and communities throughout the U.S. and around the world. Polaris develops customized training curricula aimed at educating a range of stakeholders about how human trafficking affects businesses and how to identify and report possible cases of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a thriving criminal industry, with traffickers making billions in profits by using force, fraud, or coercion to rob victims of their freedom. The International Labor Organization estimates there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide.
Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris acts as a catalyst to systemically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. By working with government leaders, the world's leading technology corporations, and local partners, Polaris equips communities to identify, report, and prevent human trafficking. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.
Wyndham Hotel Group, part of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN), is the world's largest and most diverse hotel company with approximately 7,590 hotels and 655,300 rooms in 71 countries under the hotel brands: Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Ramada®, Days Inn®, Super 8®, Wingate by Wyndham®, Baymont Inn & Suites®, Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham®, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham®, TRYP by Wyndham®, Howard Johnson®, Travelodge® and Knights Inn®. In addition, the company has a license agreement to franchise the Planet Hollywood Hotels brand and provide management services globally.
All hotels are independently owned and operated excluding certain hotels which are owned or managed by an affiliate of Wyndham Hotel Group.
Wyndham Rewards, the guest loyalty program of Wyndham Hotel Group, is the world's largest lodging loyalty program as measured by number of participating hotels. It offers more than 38 million members the chance to earn and redeem points for stays at over 7,000 hotels throughout more than 50 countries worldwide.
In addition to free stays, members may redeem their points for hundreds of reward options. For more information, visit www.wyndhamrewards.com.
Wyndham Hotel Group is based in Parsippany, New Jersey, U.S. Additional information is available at www.wyndhamworldwide.com. For more information about hotel franchising opportunities visit www.whgdevelopment.com.
SOURCE Wyndham Hotel Group