When do you collect personal data from me?
There are certain scenarios when we must collect data from you:
- When you register for our services on our websites.
For example, if you sign up to receive marketing emails, ask to be contacted by a Travel Counsellor, create an account or download the myTC app.
- When you get in touch with a Travel Counsellor for a holiday or business travel booking.
- When you place a booking with a Travel Counsellor, either as lead passenger, booker, passenger or non-travelling payee.
- When you contact us, or we contact you to take part in any promotions, competitions, surveys or questionnaires about our services.
- When you interact with us via our social media accounts.
- When you comment on or review our products and services online. If your comment or review includes information about one of our Service Providers, it may also be passed onto them if requested.
- When you contact us by any means with customer queries or complaints.
When collecting your personal data, we’ll always let you know why we need it and how we will use it to create the best travel experiences for you.
We may also use personal data from third-party sources such as companies that supply data insights, our supplier partners, public registers and online media channels, where you have given your consent to share information or where the information is made public as a matter of law. This data helps us to:
- Review and improve the accuracy of the data we hold; and
- Improve and measure the effectiveness of our marketing communications, including online advertising.
For example, to inform our business decisions and deliver the most personal travel experience possible, we’ll build a picture of who you are and what you might like to hear from us through data captured from publicly-available lists.
What types of personal data do you collect from me?
As you know, travel arrangements require essential elements of information to be processed such as passport numbers, photos, place of birth, gender and nationality. At the very least, we’ll always request your name, postal and billing addresses, email contact details, phone numbers and date of birth when you make an initial enquiry with us.
We may also log your personal travel preferences and information about your previous purchases if you have booked with Travel Counsellors before.
It’s worth saying that in some cases, we may need to collect more sensitive information such as known medical conditions, accessibility, mobility or sensory issues that could affect your travel experience, or any other special requirements.
Depending on your method of communication, we may also keep a recording of your email or telephone call.
For example, we collect notes from conversations with you, details of complaints or comments you make, plus how and when you contact us. It informs any future communications you have with us and demonstrates how we communicated with you throughout our conversations.
If you make a booking with us we will need to collect financial information, including your debit or credit card details and essential travel information such as passport details, ethnicity and visa eligibility.
To protect our business and your account from fraud, we’ll also monitor your browsing activity to ensure you are who you say you are when you request access to your account and personal details such as booking enquiries and travel itineraries.
For example, we’ll always check your password when you login to the myTC App.
We record details of your visits to our websites and myTC app by using “Cookies” (You can find out more about website Cookies below)
How will you use my personal data?
We will only ever use your personal data to improve your experience with us. This includes processing travel bookings, improving our IT systems and services, or our range of products and suppliers.
Your data allows us to create and deliver marketing materials that are personalised to you and enables us to measure the success of our marketing activities.
There may also be occasions where we may need to use your data for the detection and prevention of fraud or other crimes.
Ultimately every interaction we have with you, by phone, email, post or social media, should allow us to fulfil your enquiry and provide the best leisure or corporate travel booking experience with us.
How do you collect my data in your marketing activities?
We love to keep in touch with you, and as part of getting to know you we will send relevant news and offers about our products and services.
For example, we will use your enquiry or booking history to send or make available personalised travel offers and display the most interesting content to you.
We may investigate the booking history of our customer bases to identify travel trends and develop new products and services to suit you.
We may also wish to contact you about your views to help us improve our products and services for market research purposes. You can always choose not to take part in our market research.
Our marketing activity allows us to collect details of emails and other digital communications we send to you that you open, including any links contained within them that you click on.
We’ll also collate your feedback and contributions to customer surveys and questionnaires, plus digital assets such as images, videos, or emails you provide to us as part of our marketing promotions.
When you register with us on our websites or myTC app, we will always ask you if you would like to receive marketing communications. When you speak to a Travel Counsellor, they will also ask you if you would like to receive marketing communications. You can opt out at anytime if you change your mind.
How do you use my social media content?
We love keeping in touch with our customers via social media channels. When we interact with you on social media, we may collect information you provide such as your social media username, images, videos, feedback, reviews and conversations we’ve had.
We may use, copy, modify, adapt, publish or incorporate content you give us via social media in marketing messaging and advertising, including email marketing, print brochures, direct mail, on our website and social media channels.
While we’re chatting over social media, we may need to request your personal data such as contact details and location to make sure we put you in contact with the best Travel Counsellor for your travel requirements. Rest assured, this data will never be used for any other purposes.
We may also use your personal data from social media sources such as Facebook advertising, “Cookies” and third-party data.
This data helps us to deliver the best social media experience to you. We can use it to improve the messaging, marketing and advertising we share on our social accounts.
What are website “Cookies” and what do they mean for me?
“Cookies” is the popular term for small data files that allow us to collect information on visitors to our websites. This clever technology enables us to improve your experience with our websites or myTC app by keeping a keen eye on which webpages receive the most visits.
Cookies also allow us to see which devices you’ve used to access our Services.
For example, when you’re browsing our website, we can tell if you’re using a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone. The information also includes your IP address and whether you’ve searched for Travel Counsellors via Google, Bing, Yahoo or other web browsers. This information allows us to deliver the best online experience for you, including whether our sites display correctly on your mobile devices.
It’s handy to know that you can use your browser settings to accept or reject new Cookies and to delete existing Cookies. You can also set your browser to notify you every time new Cookies are placed on your computer or other device.
Who do you share my personal data with?
Sometimes we need to share the personal data we collect with other companies in the Travel Counsellors Group, and other supplier partners and service providers.
For example, to make sure you enjoy the best travel experience possible, your details may need to be passed onto third parties that supply elements of your travel itinerary, such as airlines, accommodation, transfers or excursion providers.
We only ever share personal data that allows our supplier partners to provide their services to you. They may only use your data for the exact purposes we specify in our contract with them.
All of our service providers are carefully selected to ensure they share our company values and care for your personal data as much as we do. It’s worth mentioning that these service providers specifically include:
Edit – We work with Edit to understand our data as a company. This helps us to find the facts that matter most to our business and understand our customers. By doing this we can provide a better experience and more personalised service to you.
Hive Marketing Cloud – We use Hive Marketing Cloud to help us identify your likes and dislikes to send you personalised, timely and relevant e-communications.
Pure360 - We use a third-party provider to deliver our weekly e-marketing to you. We gather statistics around email opening and clicks using Cookies (As discussed above) to help us monitor and improve these communications.
When we share personal data with these companies we insist that they store and process it securely, and they must never use your personal data for their own marketing purposes.
In certain circumstances we may also need to share your personal data with others.
- If the law or a public authority says we must share the personal data;
- If we need to share personal data in order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights (this includes providing personal data to others for the purposes of preventing fraud and reducing credit risk);
- To an organisation we sell or transfer (or enter into negotiations to sell or transfer) any of our businesses or any of our rights or obligations under any agreement we may have with you. If the transfer or sale goes ahead, the organisation receiving your personal data can use your personal data in the same way as us; or
- To any other successors in title to our business.
For travel purposes the personal data we collect from you may be transferred to and stored at a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). It may also be processed by companies operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our service providers, such as airlines, hoteliers, insurance companies and ground handling agents.
For you to travel overseas we may be required to disclose certain aspects of your personal data to government bodies, or other authorities in the UK and abroad, such as those responsible for immigration, border control, security and anti-terrorism.
How do you protect my personal data?
We will always treat your data with the utmost care and take all appropriate steps to protect it. We’ve put a number of initiatives in place to protect your personal data, and whist we regularly review our processes for collecting and storing your data, we also restrict access to authorised users and use encryption techniques.
Whilst we will always take appropriate measures to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of any personal data you transfer over the internet to us via online channels we don’t own.
For example, if you’re speaking to us on Facebook, it’s Facebook’s responsibility to ensure the safety and security of your data.
How can I check on the data you store about me?
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to check the data we hold about you. As part of GDPR this is called a “Subject Access Request”. If you would like to see a copy of the personal data we hold about you at Travel Counsellors, or have a question to ask about how we collect, store and use personal data, please email DPO@travelcounsellors.com, or write to:
No 1 Old Park Lane
Remember, you can always change your mind.
Under GDPR you’re well within your rights to ask for your data to be “forgotten” on our systems. You can also withdraw your consent to be marketed and/or communicated with at any time, and you can do this by letting your Travel Counsellor know or by contacting us directly at DPO@travelcounsellors.com.
As a company we take our responsibility for looking after your personal data to heart and we will always strive to do the right thing by you.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for being part of the Travel Counsellors’ community – We love having you here.
Travel Counsellors Limited is the Data Controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation.