guest safety

Traveler data protection

Amidst the troubles the tourism industry has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrime has been an unfortunate additional concern for hospitality companies and travelers alike. Cybercriminals have taken the crisis as an opportunity to prey on fear and the virtual shift at a time when we need online systems more than ever. This puts guest information at risk.

From credit card numbers to itineraries, your data should stay perfectly safe during your travels. After all, everyone deserves a peaceful break from the stresses of the modern world. Fortunately, hotels and tourism-related apps are becoming increasingly aware of threats and are taking the necessary steps to protect guest information.

Protecting your own and your hotel’s guest data comes down to understanding when that data is vulnerable and using the right tools and software to prevent unauthorized access. This article explores how hospitality-focused apps are stepping up to provide information security so that travelers can take advantage of digital travel tools without having to worry for their data security.


Vulnerabilities in Guest Information Processing

A variety of information is collected during travel and hotel visits. From the first instance of searching for appropriate accommodations and onward, travelers submit their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and credit card details.

Meanwhile, hotels increasingly rely on digital tools and practices like mobile check-in and smart assistants. This means additional data transfers over digital networks. These smart systems offer an improved guest experience, but they can also come with risks if not properly protected.

Fraud and data theft are unfortunate occurrences when using technological platforms and, while some systems are better than others, no network can completely guarantee absolute safety from a data breach.

Hoteliers and their guests face threats like:

• Theft of personal identifying information.
• DarkHotel hacking attempts through spear-phishing scams and peer-to-peer network attacks.
• Ransomware and DDoS attacks.
• Point-of-Sale system breaches.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hackers have more than doubled their attack attempts. Pandemic-related phishing schemes and social engineering scams have thus become common practices. Therefore, to keep tourists safe and at peace today, hoteliers must adopt security measures that mitigate cybersecurity risks so that they can also focus on all other pandemic-related health safety measures that are necessary to guarantee their guests a safe and pleasant stay.

Hacker breaching data – Photo by tookapic on Pixabay


How Hotel Apps Help Secure Data

Few industries are still unsupported by helpful mobile applications today. The hospitality and tourism industries are among the most served ones! Hotel apps enhance the guest experience at just about every stage of travel, from bookings to guest management and travel tips. But what are tourism apps doing in terms of cybersecurity?

Apps like Manet provide both guest convenience and information security right from the check-in process and on, offering a secure platform for travel assistance and contactless service. Here are just some of the other ways tourism apps achieve this security:


Securing Mobile Check-In

Digital room keys are one of the revolutionary tech innovations powering contactless service and virtual guest check-in. In the time of social distancing, these systems can be immensely helpful in maintaining health and safety standards. But they can also present digital threats, especially where credit card information is involved.

Fortunately, however, tourism-related apps like Manet, address these threats and have implemented security standards to better protect guests against any vulnerabilities in the system. Frequent updates, user authentication, and consistent tests of the Internet of Things (IoT) lock systems all help maintain mobile check-in procedures to keep guests and their information safe.


Educating Travelers and Providing Alternatives

Hoteliers recognize that when it comes to traveler data, guests want to feel like they are in control of their own privacy and security. Hotel apps can make this possible by educating guests regarding cybersecurity best practices. Whether it be through comprehensive guides to logging in safely to guest WiFi or information on how and when the hotel will contact guests, these applications can make a big difference in ensuring traveler data safety through education alone.

However, traveler-focused tools should also consider alternatives to guest WiFi. For instance, the 5G wireless network is emerging as a faster and more effective way to access the internet. Mobile app developers are recognizing the need for 5G compatibility in hotel and tourism applications and tools, allowing guests to utilize these networks without relying on vulnerable guest WiFi. Manet, with its smart travel assistants, has always been at the forefront of ensuring the compatibility and availability of network options like these to help keep traveler information secure.

Manet Smart Travel Assistant
Traveler using Manet Smart Travel Assistant


Revitalizing Security Tech

Cybersecurity technologies are improving all the time. In the course of application development, hospitality and software companies are applying these new technologies to improve encryption and data storage processes on mobile devices.

For example, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are getting increasingly good at modeling, predicting, and catching potential data breaches. The use of these tools from the application development process onward inspires more thorough security practices to secure mobile app code from the backend. Then, encryption techniques can also be broadly instituted to secure the platform for the end-user.

Tourism-centered applications and digital tools are fueling better security through better processes and highly-trained information systems professionals who add value through their cybersecurity expertise. Modern tourism requires an extensively digital approach, so these professionals are key to constantly improving mobile hospitality applications to offer cutting-edge security.

Thanks to skilled cybersecurity professionals and highly secure travel and hospitality digital tools travelers can kick back and fully enjoy their stay knowing their information is safe.

Happy tourists – Photo by Jill Wellington on Pixabay


A Safer Future for Tourists

In the face of widespread industry troubles like pandemic and cybercrime, tourism app security is an absolute travel necessity. Not only can secure technology help hoteliers flourish, even while COVID-19 rages, but it can also help them establish high digital protection for business guests who often have to work remotely while traveling.

With the future of the travel industry dependent on the security of guest information, implementing protections from the app development stage to the check-in process helps making safe travel possible even in a world full of digital hazards. For hoteliers, implementing in their processes a secure and proven hospitality application may make the difference in hotel reputation for guest data security.


Article by Luke Smith – Manet Guest Writer & Technology Enthusiast

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Hotel sign during winter

Winter is coming. Or, it may be already here, depending on where you live. Some areas of the continent have already seen their first snowfall. If you own or manage a hotel, winter always comes with a few trepidations and potential setbacks. But, this year, things might already feel worse than ever.

winter hotel
Image by Ivana Mariankova from Pixabay

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge hit on so many industries, and the hospitality sector has been severely impacted. While hotels have been heroes in times of need, with some housing first responders and healthcare staff, paying guests haven’t been as prominent this year. Part of that is due to travel restrictions because of the pandemic — the UK just implemented another strict travel ban to mitigate the risk of new COVID variants. Therefore, many people just aren’t going out and travellingtravellersthey usually would out of fear.

On top of the pandemic, winter weather can play a huge part in how slow the hotel business can be this time of year.

One way you can navigate the winter months and not only stay afloat but find success, is to use a hotel app. You can expect a digital transformation within the industry in a post-pandemic world. People will want a personalized experience and access to different amenities in the palm of their hand. You can get a jumpstart on that transformation by using your app now to get through the winter.


Make Your Guests Feel Safe

Unfortunately, winter is also commonly known as flu season. This year, that can have an impact more than ever, since COVID cases are still spiking in certain parts of Europe and the world beyond. While the best way to prevent the flu is to get a yearly vaccine, people can reduce their chances of getting sick by:

• Staying home if they have symptoms
• Washing their hands frequently
• Staying socially distant from others

Those tips might sound familiar, as they’re the same rules everyone should follow for COVID-19. While people have the responsibility of taking their health into their own hands, they also want to know the places they visit are doing their part to keep things hygienic, too.

public health best practices
Image by Klaus Hausmann from Pixabay

As more people start to travel again, you can give your guests peace of mind by keeping your hotel safe and clean. Disinfect surfaces and rooms frequently, and make sure your guests know the efforts you’re putting forth. Additionally, you can provide information about social distancing and best practices to stay healthy.

All of this information can be provided to your guests via your app. You can even let them know when their rooms have been cleaned, and every safety measure you’re taking to keep them healthy during their stay.


Keep Your Staff Informed

Your hotel has already undoubtedly had to go through some changes this year because of the pandemic. In winter, even more changes can occur in a matter of hours. It’s important to be able to communicate with your staff as effectively and efficiently as possible.

If a disaster occurs from a winter storm, you’ll want everyone to know quickly. It might be a burst pipe, a broken furnace, or damage to the actual structure of your building.

Whatever the case, you will need a direct line of communication with your employees. You should be able to inform them of what is going on, what your expectations are, and what they should be doing.

online training course for hotel staff
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Your app can help you do that, so there is no confusion as to what the recovery plan is. Your employees can stay safe, and you’ll be able to communicate digitally to make sure your hotel gets back to business as quickly as possible.


Attract Guests Throughout the Winter

Despite COVID, threats of bad weather, and other wintertime setbacks, it’s more important than ever to continue to market your hotel. In Prague and Rome, where the hospitality industry was significantly hit by COVID, the revenues per available room (RevPar) dropped by 78% and 86%, respectively for during March 2020. If your business is on the line, finding ways to keep guests coming throughout this cold season is crucial to keep things running.

Thankfully, having an app and getting on board with technology is a great way to start. You can market yourself through your app, and people will learn more about you from the palm of their hand. Customizable services are a great way to attract people to stay with you, especially when they can control those services on their phones. Some ideas for custom amenities include:

• Different room types to choose from
• Minibar options
• Various bathroom product brands
• Access to streaming services on the television
• Access to different areas of the hotel, including the pool and gym

Everyone wants a customizable experience, and they don’t want to have to make a phone call to the front desk or ring for room service all of the time. In today’s digital world, including as much information and as many services as possible on your hotel’s app can make a big difference in how you market yourself to travelers.

The possibilities are truly endless with a hotel app. From amenities and information about your business to suggestions on things to do and places to visit during a stay, you can give guests full control over their experience with you. During the upcoming winter months, that can be a crucial technique to help your hotel stay afloat and see success again.

Article by Luke Smith – Manet Guest Writer & Technology Enthusiast

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