July 30, 2019

How the hospitality industry can ensure their guests get a great night’s sleep this summer

With the end of summer fast approaching, individuals will be enjoying their final few summer vacation days and long-weekends before the fall. Although jet-setting out of the city is a nice escape from the regular routine, a vacation can turn into a huge headache if traveling documents such as passports, boarding passes and laptops are compromised. To help travelers enjoy their time off stress free, Shred-it is reminding those who work in the hospitality industry to help protect their guests from identity theft when they check in to their final destination.

Findings from our 2019 Data Protection Report reveal that despite the fact that individuals travel with a large amount of physical documents, 88% of hotel owners prioritize digital security, leaving physical document protection neglected. Our findings also found that despite the fact that the majority of hotels have a policy for disposing confidential information, half (50%) of hotel employees are unaware that a policy exists for storing and disposing confidential documents. In an era where one security breach can cost a hotel millions of dollars in fines, not to mention the reputational damage and loss of consumer trust associated with a breach, hotels need to do more to demonstrate their commitment to the issue or they will risk losing consumer trust.

Here are some tips that managers in the hospitality industry should implement:

First, hotel owners need to train their staff on the importance of data security. Considering that only 14% of hotels regularly train their employees on information security procedures, this must change. When guests arrive, front desk staff should ask if they would like their boarding pass or other travel documents professionally shredded. Implementing employee training throughout the year is one way to reduce the risk of a data breach from occurring. 

Secondly, hotels should make sure that all guests have a locked safe or locked console in their hotel room to store larger electronic devices and files. Guests should also have the option to use a professional shredder to destroy documents no longer needed. Only 35% of hotels report having a locked console and an in-house shredding machine, meaning that hotels need to shift their priorities to focus on data protection at all levels of their organization, including their guests.

Finally, the hospitality industry needs to demonstrate that information security is a priority. This can easily be communicated to guests by including their privacy policy at the check-in counter or in guest’s rooms. Our report confirmed that almost all (96%) of hotel owners feel like they need to do more to show employees and consumers how they are protecting guest’s personal information. By incorporating data protection policies into hotel materials and physically providing guests with professional shredding services and locked consoles, this can easily be implemented. 

To learn more about how Shred-it can help your hotel, visit www.shredit.com.