Human trafficking in Puerto Rico is a reality and has serious implications for the tourism industry, and Meet Puerto Rico allied with the Ricky Martin Foundation to educate the local tourism industry on the impact of the social evil and its impact on the image of the destination.
Milton Segarra, president of Meet Puerto Rico, said it is important the tourism industry be alert to the problem. A workshop led by Dr. César Rey, a board member of the Ricky Martin Foundation, was presented, entitled, “Human trafficking: A modern form of slavery in Puerto Rico.”
One piece of research for the tourism industry, conducted by Rey, is data supporting that as a result of the closure of nightclubs in San Juan, prostitution has moved to alternate locations, including hotels, creating a system of sophisticated sex tourism.
During the event, Meet Puerto Rico, responsible for bringing groups and conventions to the island, gave $46,469.25 as a result of the promotional campaign Escape the Meeting Blah! Twenty-five hotels participated, contributing a dollar for every room night booked for a group or convention.
“We had an excellent response from the industry for this initiative, which not only helped to promote the destination, but also raised a significant amount of money to benefit the Ricky Martin Foundation,” said Segarra. “The tourism industry has a high sense of social responsibility and this proves it.”
Pictured (l-r) are Milton Segarra, Bibiana Ferraiouli and Rey.