Influence of EU Personal Data Protection Act on e-marketing strategy of touroperators

Within the field of information management or customer knowledge management, distinctions have always been made between data, information and knowledge. For example a business can find out the date on which a prospect became a customer, the value of the last purchase, the term within which payment was made and the customer’s address. The data say something about the identity and profile of the customer; as a result, it becomes possible to create an image of the customer. Information becomes knowledge as soon as action is taken on the basis of this information; because the customer’s profile is known, we know when we should offer them which products or services. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013)

Recently there is a new European Personal Data Protection Act for their citizens. Data protection of citizens of the EU are protected better in the recent privacy regulation. Companies must comply with this regulation. (ANVR, 2015)

How will this personal data protection act affect the e-marketing strategies of tour operators?

The first question is; what is in the Personal Data Protection Act?
“Under EU law, personal data can only be gathered legally under strict conditions, for a legitimate purpose. Furthermore, persons or organisations which collect and manage your personal information must protect it from misuse and must respect certain rights of the data owners which are guaranteed by EU law.

Therefore, common EU rules have been established to ensure that your personal data enjoys a high standard of protection everywhere in the EU. You have the right to complain and obtain redress if your data is misused anywhere within the EU.” (European Commission, 2016)

A tour operator usually saves data of their employees and customers. According to Pitmans (n.d.) and Pinsent Masons (2008) the Data Protection Act will make it much more difficult to maintain this information. In a marketing context this means that communications should be clear as to who they are from and that when contact details are collected individuals should be told about the use for marketing purposes and generally how this will be done, for example by telephone, social media, email or WhatsApp.
(Pinsent Masons , 2008) (Pitmans , n.d.)

The new Data Protection Act will have a negative influence on the e-marketing strategies of tour operators. Transparency is a very important term for the online marketing of companies. It will be slightly difficult for a tourism organization to adapt their advertisements on their consumers. Consumers need to know what they can expect and they have to give their consent to a company to make use of their information. (Blackmer, 2016) (Hawkins, 2016)


ANVR. (2015). Travel Tomorrow Report. In H. Mahawat Khan, F. Oostdam, G. van der Voort, F. Radstake, V. Snijders, & F. Haverkort. Capgemini.

Blackmer, W. S. (2016, May 5). GDPR: Getting Ready for the New EU General Data Protection Regulation. Retrieved from Information Law Group:

European Commission. (2016). Protection of Personal Data. Retrieved from Justice – Building an European Area of Justice:

Hawkins, A. (2016, January 28). What does General Data Protection Regulation actually mean for marketers. Retrieved from Smart Insights:

Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. In E. Peelen, & R. Beltman, Customer Relationship Management. Pearson Education Limited.

Pinsent Masons . (2008). The effect of the Data Protection Act on e-marketing. Retrieved from

Pitmans . (n.d.). What is the Data Protection Act, and how does it affect my business? Retrieved from Directors Toolkit:



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