The WTTC also launched a new report to help the sector’s stakeholders understand how cyber resilience is shaping the travel and tourism sector and plan for a safer and more robust future.
The report, ‘Codes to resilience,’ in joint efforts with Microsoft, draws on comprehensive research and in-depth interviews with cyber security experts in leading Travel & Tourism organizations such as Mastercard, JTB, and Carnival Corporation, among others.
The report shows that whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the world and the sector into a more digital future, with the opportunities provided by digitalization, new challenges have emerged, especially in cybercrime.
The inaugural report focuses on three key areas considered critical for the sector: cyber resilience, key issues and six best practices based on the lessons learnt prior to and during the pandemic.
The report goes on to show how digitalization has become a strong enabler of business within travel and tourism, and given the international nature of the sector, it looks at the role of legislation around individual data protection.
According to the report, more than seven out of 10 (72%)SMEs in the UK, the U.S., and Europe, have fallen victim to at least one cyberattack and with SMEs representing 80% of all Travel & Tourism businesses, mitigating cyber risk must remain a priority for the sector.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Technology and digitalization play a key role in making the whole travel experience more seamless, from booking a holiday, to checking in for a flight or embarking on a cruise.
“But the impact of cyberattacks carries enormous financial, reputational and regulatory risk.”
This critical report reveals four key issues to address in order to improve cyber protection and enhance resilience: securing identity data, securing business operations, understanding the impact of COVID-19 and managing global legislation.
According to the report, certain actions can help businesses better prepare to repel an attack, while laying the foundation to support long-term cyber resilience. Educating and training all staff, expanding risk security beyond the physical workplace, employing a zero-trust approach to cyber security, and transparency, among others, have been recommended by industry experts as good practices.
Cyber resilience is a crucial element to the future of Travel & Tourism, as cyber systems continue to facilitate and enhance activities between the sector’s stakeholders.