WTTC Global Summit focuses on cyber resilience in digital travel

Over 10 pc travel firms hit by cyber attacks
2022-04-23
/
/ New Delhi
WTTC Global Summit focuses on cyber resilience in digital travel

According to the WTTC Economic Impact Report, in 2019, before pandemic took place, the travel and tourism sector generated more than USD 9.6 trillion to the global economy

As travel industry around the world adopts digitalisation, new challenges such as cybercrime also emerge alongside. In order to make the sector aware and be prepared, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched a report regarding travel cyber at the recently-concluded Global Summit 2022 in Manila.
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A new report launched by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) at its Global Summit 2022 in Manila has emphasised the importance of cyber resilience in planning for a safer future.

Prepared jointly with Microsoft, the report draws on comprehensive research and interviews with cyber security experts in leading travel and tourism organisations such as Mastercard, JTB, and Carnival Corporation. It says that whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the world and travel sector into a more digital future, along with better opportunities, new challenges have also emerged alongside, especially cybercrime.

The report highlights three key areas considered critical for the sector: cyber resilience, key issues and six best practices based on the lessons learnt before and during the pandemic.

The report also shows how digitalisation 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.

The report goes on to say that more than seven out of 10 or 72 pc of SMEs in the UK, US, and Europe, have been victim to at least one cyberattack.

“Technology and digitalisation 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,” says Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO.

According to the report, four key issues need to be addressed 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. Educating and training all staff, expanding risk security beyond the physical workplace, employing a zero-trust approach to cyber security, and transparency have also been recommended by industry experts as good practices.

During a panel session at Global Summit event held in Manila on April 23, industry leaders were told that cybercrime cost the global economy USD 1 trillion and could reach a staggering USD 90 trillion by 2030.

According to the WTTC Economic Impact Report, in 2019, before pandemic took place, the travel and tourism sector generated more than USD 9.6 trillion to the global economy. However, in 2020, the pandemic brought the sector to an almost complete standstill, causing a massive 50 pc drop, representing a severe loss of nearly USD 4.5 trillion.

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