Data privacy and travel: Do consumers trust hotels and airlines with personal data?
May 31st, 2023, Bhavika Bansal

Data privacy and travel: Do consumers trust hotels and airlines with personal data?

In 2022, 1,774 organizational data compromises impacted over 392 million individual victims globally. As personally identifiable and sensitive information becomes more vulnerable to data breaches, consumers around the world are becoming more and more cautious.  Amidst these growing privacy and security concerns, a recent YouGov poll asks consumers to what extent they trust organisations like hotels & airlines, banks, insurance providers and more with their personal data. 

Three-fifths of global consumers (61%) say they trust banks with their personal data followed by more than half who say the same for hotels and airlines (52%). While an equal share of global consumers registers their trust in tech and automotive companies (41% for both), this proportion falls significantly when it comes to video game platforms (31%) and social media companies (24%).

Taking a closer look at the travel sector reveals that when it comes to personal data, consumer trust in hotels and airlines has risen in 2023 (50% in 2022 and 52% in 2023) while the level of distrust has remained constant (38% in both 2022 and 2023).

Of the 18 polled international markets, trust levels in travel companies are the highest in the UAE. Almost three-quarters of consumers in the UAE in 2023 (73%) - up from 68% in 2022 – say they trust hotels and airlines with their personal information.

While a significantly larger share of consumers in Mexico indicates data trust in hotels and airlines over the last year (54% in 2023 from 49% in 2022), the rise in the US has been more moderate – from 36% in 2022 to 39% in 2023. On the other hand, consumers in Canada have become less trusting of travel companies with their personal data in 2023 than they were in 2022 (44% vs. 39%).

Consumers across European markets share similarly diverse opinions. From February 2022 to March 2023, data trust in hotels and airlines has seen an increase amongst consumers in Spain (52% to 55%), Italy (48% to 51%), France (40% to 44%) and Great Britain (41% to 43%). Nordic consumers, however, have become far more skeptical – with the share of distrustful consumers rising significantly during the same period (28% to 35% in Denmark and 36% to 43% in Sweden).

On the other hand, consumers in the APAC region are more cohesive in their opinions. Consumers across all APAC markets except Hong Kong have become more trusting of travel companies when it comes to their personal data. A look at consumers in Hong Kong, the only outlier to this trend, reveals that trust levels have notably fallen from 56% in 2022 to 50% in 2023 and distrust levels having risen from 33% in 2022 to 46% in 2023.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2,007 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in March 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.