Hyatt is one of the latest hotel chains to pull the plug on pornography. It follows in the footsteps of Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Drury and several other large hospitality providers that have discontinued offering in-room, on-demand adult entertainment channels at their properties.
Marriott International led the way, announcing in early 2011 that it would phase out adult-content, in-room video services from its properties around the world. At the time, there was speculation that the move was made in response to pressure from special interest groups that promote family values.
As the Washington Post reported, a coalition of Christian organizations met with Marriott International officials in Washington in 2008 to encourage the hotel chain to stop offering pay-per-view adult movies. Although Marriott did not take action immediately, it ultimately changed its policy, citing other reasons.
A Transition in Viewing Habits
Years ago, hotel guests were eager and willing to pay for premium adult channels they could view in the privacy of their rooms. Yet the proliferation of personal portable devices such as smartphones and tablets has permanently altered that. Reporting for ap.org, Beth Harpaz notes, “Decreasing revenue from movie rentals in hotels has driven the trend, with movie rental revenue per available hotel room dropping from $339 a year to $107 a year between 2000 and 2014, according to a report from PKF Hospitality Research. Hotel guests are renting fewer in-room movies because they can watch them on smartphones or laptops instead.”
Declining sales is just one consideration motivating the hotel chains. They are apparently listening to organizations such as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE), a watchdog group which earlier this year changed its name from Morality in Media. The Washington, DC-based group is the leading national organization opposing pornography; publicly exposing its connection to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse and porn addiction. NCSE is actively reaching out to hotel chains with its message.
In a posting on its website, NCSE President and CEO Patrick Trueman praised Hyatt for taking action. “Hyatt was eager to work with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation after we reached out to the corporation to share concerns about the neurological and psychological harms of pornography. By removing on-demand pornography, Hyatt is also taking a stand against prostitution and sex trafficking, which are crimes that often takes place in hotels,” he stated.
NCSE released a similar statement this August when Hilton pledged to remove adult programming from its properties by July 1, 2016. Hilton Worldwide was targeted by NCSE on its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of companies it maintains contribute to sexual exploitation. Earlier this summer, Roadwarriorvoices.com contacted Hilton for a statement. An unnamed Hilton spokesperson told Jelisa Castrodale, “We believe in offering our guests a high degree of choice and control during their stays with us, including Wi-Fi on personal devices. However, 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.”