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The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa completes training to identify victims of sex trafficking

The Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network offers several anti-trafficking programs covering a wide spectrum that address community education, public awareness, prevention, demand reduction and programs designed to deter male buyers.

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. – More than 75 percent of all The Westin Kierland’s associates have completed in-person training provided by the SAFE (Safeguarding All from Exploitation) Action Project, a program under the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network (AATN) designed to train hospitality employees how to identify, report and prevent human and sex trafficking.

Visitation to Scottsdale and Phoenix is significant for both business and leisure travel segments. Each year, high-profile special events like the upcoming Super Bowl LVII attract millions of visitors but unfortunately this increase in visitation can also lead to unwanted and dangerous crimes like sex trafficking. Combating this issue requires the involvement of the entire community, which is why the highly recognized Westin Kierland added this localized training program to complement the corporate training provided by Marriott International.

“I could not be more pleased in our partnership with SAFE and the available training for the hotel industry that allowed our hotel to become one of the first major resorts to be SAFE Certified,” said Derek Ellis, General Manager, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. “The stories of human trafficking are heartbreaking. If we can save one victim because our associates are trained to see something and say something, then we have done the right thing.”

AATN offers several anti-trafficking programs covering a wide spectrum that address community education, public awareness, prevention, demand reduction and programs designed to deter male buyers. The SAFE Action Project equips the tourism industry and travelers with the knowledge and skills about human trafficking in Arizona that is tailored to their specific profession.

“Sex trafficking is a transient crime that moves throughout the United States and the world; empowering hospitality employees to identify the signs and current trends is another powerful tool to aid law enforcement,” said Sgt. Andrew Parrot, Scottsdale Police Department (Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit). “Partnering with the community provides strength to stand up against those enslaving the victims of these atrocious crimes. We are proud to acknowledge the Westin Kierland is a SAFE property and business. They are an amazing partner in this constant battle we wage.”

Unfortunately, the same forces that fuel tourism in Arizona also contribute to human trafficking throughout the state – these include beautiful weather, multiple interstate highways, proximity to the U.S. border, a short drive to Las Vegas or California, a major conference destination and many professional sporting events.

“It was evident from the first class that this was a subject matter in which participants were truly engaged,” said Randy Coope, Director of Security, The Westin Kierland. “The training clearly demonstrated the roles that each team member plays in identifying the warning signs of trafficking. Reviewing when, where, and how to seek assistance enabled our team to feel confident in reporting potential trafficking incidents. Our staff truly felt as if they had the power to make a difference.”

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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