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Data Privacy in the Travel and Tourism sector

The Philippines has seen a steady and vibrant growth in demand for travel and tourism services in the country. Much of this is because of the strong business climate and increasing domestic spending.

Thus, according to a recent report, there is a need for industry players to safeguard the trust of their customers by guaranteeing that personal information remains secure against data theft.

The Privacy Commissioner and National Privacy Commission (NPC) Chairman called on the tourism service providers and encouraged them to comply with the provisions of the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

During the 20th Data Protection Officers Assembly (DPO20), he gave emphasis on the need to mitigate risks as this sector becomes increasingly dependent on advances in technology.

In complying with this, a definitive outcome would be ensuring the stable growth of the country’s tourism. Moreover, it will add to the national economic progress and increasing global competitiveness of the Philippines.

He further stressed that data privacy compliance is a must for all organisations that collect and process personal data.

The assumption that comes with their responsibility in safeguarding the data of their tourists, from the stages of acquisition, storage, and transfer, is that the customers are allowed to enjoy that sense of peace of mind while they are on travel and leisure.

Also, this will strengthen the company’s brand since they will be known as putting the welfare of their customers above all else.

The event gathered about a hundred Data Protection Officers (DPOs) and allied professionals at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Centre.

With the theme, “Data Privacy: Safeguarding trust in travel and tourism”, the event aims to encourage compliance awareness, accountability and a sense of urgency within the sector.

One of the key highlights of the event is the declaration of a partnership between the Commission and key leaders in the consumer finance industry.

This includes executives representing top airlines, travel agencies; meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE); hospitality and other allied organisations.

Their support conveys the sector’s commitment in building a resilient data privacy culture in the Philippines.

According to the 2018 World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) report called, “Power and Performance Report”, the Philippines ranked 13th among the top 15 tourism powerhouses that recorded “absolute growth” within the last seven years.

The report, which assessed 185 countries based on its travel and tourism sector’s performance from the period of 2011 to 2017, also placed the country at 15th in terms of “performance”.

Performance is based on its compound annual growth rates between the period in WTTC’s four indicators: contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP); international visitor spend; domestic spend; and capital investment.

Moreover, the Philippines ranks 8th among states that have seen the largest growth in travel and tourism’s contribution to GDP from 2011 to 2017, with US$ 66.3 billion share in 2017 alone.

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