Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Hilton Worldwide Confirms Elimination of On-Demand Adult Content From Its Hotel Rooms

received official confirmation directly from a Hilton Worldwide spokesperson confirming reports of the elimination of on-demand adult video entertainment from approximately 715,000 rooms in its hotel and resort properties worldwide effective immediately, which is shown below unedited:

“We are making immediate changes to our global brand standards to eliminate adult video-on-demand entertainment in all our hotels worldwide. While the vast majority of our properties already do not offer this content today, this content will be phased out of all other hotels subject to the terms of their contracts. We have listened carefully to our customers and have determined that adult video-on-demand entertainment is not in keeping with our company’s vision and goals moving forward.”

This statement was posted as a declaration of “victory” at the official Internet web site for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation — formerly known as Morality In Media — which praised Hilton Worldwide for “being willing to take a stand against sexual exploitation” as a result of the implementation of the aforementioned policy. “Many hotels have long been concerned with human trafficking that could occur on their properties, and since pornography contributes to the demand for sex trafficking, Hilton’s decision to remove their pay-per-view pornographic movies is a significant step in the right direction. In addition to the links with trafficking, pornography also contributes to sexual violence, child exploitation, and lifelong porn addictions. It is praiseworthy that Hilton is willing to listen to its customers who are concerned about the harms of pornography, and to reject profiting from sexual exploitation.”

As a result, Hilton Worldwide was removed from the Dirty Dozen list — which currently includes the Department of Justice of the United States, the American Library Association and Facebook — of the national organization which advocates against pornography by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, addiction and more.

This is an issue which has been publicly debated by frequent fliers as far back as January of 2003.

Hilton Worldwide is not the first lodging company to execute such a policy. As I reported back on Sunday, January 23, 2011, Marriott International implemented an official policy to remove adult content from new hotel rooms.

If you had not seen a public announcement pertaining to Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International or Omni Hotels & Resorts implementing a policy eliminating adult content from their hotel rooms worldwide, it is most likely by design, as lodging companies seem to be loathe to create a marketing message resulting from the official policy changes.

Back in 2011, there were questions as to why Marriott International would eliminate an option for hotel guests which was known to be lucrative. Suppositions include religious or political reasons; but with the advent of the frequent guest loyalty programs of more lodging corporations — such as Hilton HHonorsStarwood Preferred GuestMarriott Rewards and Hyatt Gold Passport — offering free Internet access to guests, could the reason also be that the option of offering adult content for a fee may not be nearly as lucrative as in the past?

According to this article posted on Friday, October 3, 2014 at the official Internet web site of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States, Marriott International, Incorporated and its subsidiary, Marriott Hotel Services, Incorporated agreed to pay a civil penalty of $600,000.00 to resolve an investigation pertaining to whether Marriott intentionally violated Section 333 of the Communications Act by allegedly interfering with and disabling Wi-Fi networks established by consumers in the conference facilities of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee:

“In March 2013, the Commission received a complaint from an individual who had attended a function at the Gaylord Opryland. The complainant alleged that the Gaylord Opryland was ‘jamming mobile hotspots so that you can’t use them in the convention space.’ After conducting an investigation, the Enforcement Bureau found that employees of Marriott, which has managed the day-to-day operations of the Gaylord Opryland since 2012, had used features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system at the Gaylord Opryland to contain and/or de-authenticate guest-created Wi-Fi hotspot access points in the conference facilities. In some cases, employees sent de-authentication packets to the targeted access points, which would dissociate consumersí devices from their own Wi-Fi hotspot access points and, thus, disrupt consumers’ current Wi-Fi transmissions and prevent future transmissions. At the same time that these employees engaged in these practices, Marriott charged conference exhibitors and other attendees anywhere from $250 to $1,000 per device to use the Gaylord Wi-Fi service in the conference facilities.”

I am not necessarily saying that there is a connection between the interference with and disabling of Wi-Fi networks and the supposed loss of revenue from adult content being offered to guests in hotel rooms for a fee; but it would seem that management at a hotel property — in the United States, at least — cannot stop someone from accessing adult content via their portable electronic device through a free connection to the Internet within a hotel room. Why offer it as an option anymore — especially as it costs money to maintain and fewer guest are supposedly using significantly less of it?

What are your thoughts pertaining to the removal of adult content from hotel rooms? Should more lodging companies adopt similar a similar policy?

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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