21 Feb

More than a quarter of business managers looking to use TMCs as a solution ahead of GDPR

Over a quarter (28%) of managers will be employing the services of a Travel Management Company to protect their travelling staff’s personal data after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018, according to new findings from ABTA – the Travel Association.

The research, released to coincide with the Business Travel Show (21-22 February), looks at the steps businesses will take to protect staff’s data when travelling for work, with 28% saying that they will employ the services of a Travel Management Company and ensure all travel is booked only with agreed suppliers within the travel policy.

With almost a third (32%) stating that they don’t know what steps they will be taking to protect their travelling staff’s data – there is an opportunity for TMCs to demonstrate that they can help to provide this protection. 

When asked what criteria they used when selecting a TMC, 90% of managers stated that it was very important or important that they were confident a TMC had the correct processes and systems in place to manage data.

GDPR is a European regulation that will require companies to have clearer and more robust processes in place when handling personal data relating to their customers, their staff or other persons who come into contact with their business. For the last two years, ABTA has been conducting regional road shows for its Members explaining their obligations under GDPR as well as producing detailed guidance notes available exclusively to ABTA Members.  This means that ABTA TMCs should be particularly well prepared to ensure they can handle their clients’ data safely.

The consequences of non-compliance with the new GDPR could mean fines of up to €20,000,000 or 4% of annual turnover, as well as having other major business impacts. Breaches of the GDPR could affect an organisation’s brand through negative publicity and it could also lead to criminal proceedings.

Susan Deer ABTA Senior Solicitor said: “With just over three months to go until GDPR becomes law, it is incredibly important that all companies have adjusted their working practices to take account of their new obligations. Properly prepared TMCs have an incredibly important role to play with businesses looking to them to help protect their data – and it also creates a great business opportunity too.  We have done a lot of work with our business travel Members to help them get ready for 25 May. Using their services should help ensure your company is compliant with the requirements of GDPR.”

ABTA’s upcoming seminar ‘Business Travel Risk Management: Protecting Your Travelling Employees’ is designed for large and small travel companies, TMCs and their suppliers. Leading TMCs, travel managers and travel risk experts will look at identifying, assessing and mitigating the risks facing travelling employees. Attend to gain an understanding of your legal duty of care and ensure you are GDPR compliant. Find out more and register your place.

Notes to Editors

¹ The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 508 managers at companies where people travel for business (including 259 business decision makers) in GB between 31.01.2018 - 02.02.2018. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.