NPC calls for data privacy compliance in travel and tourism sector

At the 20th Data Protection Officers Assembly (DPO20), National Privacy Commission (NPC) chairman Raymund E. Liboro urged tourism service providers to comply with the provisions of the Data Privacy Act (DPA) of 2012, emphasizing on the need to mitigate risks as the sector becomes increasingly dependent on advances in technology.

He said the definitive outcome of compliance is ensuring Philippine tourism’s stable growth, continued contribution to national economic progress, and increasing global competitiveness.

“Data privacy compliance is a must for all organizations that collect and process personal data. The assumption of your responsibility in protecting tourists’ data – from acquisition, storage, and transfer – not only allows them to enjoy that sense of peace of mind while on travel and leisure, but also strengthens your brand as a company that puts its customer’s welfare above all else,” Liboro said.

About a hundred DPOs and allied professionals joined the DPO20 on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center. With the theme “Data Privacy: Safeguarding trust in travel and tourism”, the event sought to encourage compliance awareness, accountability, and a sense of urgency within the sector.

Highlighting DPO20 is the declaration of a partnership between the NPC and key leaders in the travel and tourism industry. This includes executives representing top airlines, travel agencies, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), hospitality and other allied organizations.

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

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” or 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.

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 $66.3 billion share in 2017 alone.

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