The impact of GDPR on the hotel sector

The impact of GDPR on the hotel sector - Crowe Horwath Ireland

Crowe Horwath partner Aiden Murphy gave an address on the practical implications and solutions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the hotel sector at an Irish Hotels Federation industry briefing held at the Radisson Hotel, Dublin Airport on 5 September 2017. The seminar was addressed by a panel of industry experts from different backgrounds including business planning, legal, technology and marketing. Below you can download a full summary and a 5-step guide to preparing your hotel for the new GDPR regulations.

GDPR and the hotel sector

When it comes to data security, there are few sectors as vulnerable to threats as the hotel industry. With the volume of processed personal and credit card information being handed over to hotels on a daily basis the hotel industry is currently one of the most vulnerable to data breaches (Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations). It is no surprise that the industry accounted for the second largest share of security breaches in 2016.

With the enforcement deadline for the GDPR looming closer, it is imperative that hotels upgrade their data protection processes, or they face the risk of severe financial penalties.

The penalties for not complying with GDPR are severe, at a financial cost of up to €20 million or 4 per cent of worldwide annual turnover (whichever is greater), not to mention the potential reputational cost to a business in the hospitality industry. However, these possible losses can be easily avoided if the hotel leaves enough time to efficiently adapt to the regulation.

What is GDPR?

GDPR is a regulation to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the European Union. It was adopted in May 2016. The regulation is set to replace the existing Data Protection Acts (1988 and 2003), and following a two-year implementation period, it will come into force on May 25th 2018. The legislation brings in a large number of changes, meaning that the level of effort involved in preparing for GDPR compliance is significant.

The GDPR team at Crowe Horwath can help hoteliers devise and implement a plan to ensure compliance in advance of the May 2018 deadline. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you contact Roseanna O’Hanlon or Simone Kennedy of our risk consulting team.

Download our guide to GDPR and implications for the hotel sector and your 5-step guide to getting GDPR ready.