TRUSTe, the non-profit organization widely known for its leading privacy certification and seal program, today announced that InterContinental Hotels Group, the world`s most global hotel company, is the first hotel company to complete TRUSTe`s extensive certification process.
InterContinental Hotels Group will display the TRUSTe Privacy Seal on its Web sites at www.ichotelsgroup.com, www.intercontinental.com for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, www.crowneplaza.com for Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, www.holiday-inn.com for Holiday Inn hotels, www.hiexpress.com for Holiday Inn Express hotels, www.staybridge.com for Staybridge Suites by Holiday Inn hotels and, for the Group’s rewards program, www.priorityclub.com.
“InterContinental Hotels Group continues to lead the industry in online innovation and commitment to customer privacy protection. We take our role as guardians of our customers` data and privacy very seriously. By certifying our Web sites through a third party non-profit organization like TRUSTe, we are able to give our customers that extra reassurance that their data and privacy are protected,” said Eric Pearson, senior vice president, Global E-commerce, InterContinental Hotels Group.
In 2002 Forrester Research reported that the majority of online travel shoppers expressed concerns regarding the privacy of their personal information. More than a third of all “bookers” (people who will actually make a reservation online) indicated they look for a privacy seal before making a transaction, and most shoppers indicated they are specifically looking for the TRUSTe certification seal.
“Consumers have an expectation of privacy when they use online channels. Completing TRUSTe`s rigorous certification process was the next logical step to further demonstrate to our customers that when they book direct with our sites, they can book with confidence. The confidence that they will always get the best available rate, that their reservation will be there when they arrive, and that their security and privacy are always protected,” Pearson went on to say.
TRUSTe has run an award-winning privacy certification and seal program since 1997, protecting hundreds of millions of users every month. TRUSTe awards its seal to Web sites that adhere to TRUSTe`s established privacy standards, based on the core principles of the Fair Information Practices, and that agree to comply with the group`s oversight and dispute resolution process. More than 1,200 companies, including Microsoft, IBM, Disney, Allstate and Costco, have entrusted their privacy practices to the TRUSTe certification and oversight process.
“InterContinental is leading the way in the hotel industry to address customer concerns about personal information, identity theft and email practices online. We are excited to have them join the program as the first hotel group to complete our rigorous certification, said Fran Maier, executive director of TRUSTe. “InterContinental is way ahead of the curve. Travelers booking on the Internet have come to expect privacy seals from online aggregators. Now that hotels are more aggressive in seeking direct bookings, privacy certification will become a necessity. “