Assuring Privacy and Data Protection within the Framework of Smart Tourism Destinations

Data lies at the core of all smart tourism activities as tourists engage in different and personalized touristic services whilst the pre/during/post travelling or in holidays. From these interactions, a digital data trail is seamlessly captured in a technology embedded environment, and then mined and harnessed in the context of STD – Smart Tourist Destinations to create enriched, high-value experiences, namely those related to eco-responsibility, as well as granting destinations with competitive advantages. The perceived enjoyment of experiences must be considered within the legal framework of Privacy and Data Protection by exposing inherent risks, analysing the available answers given by the GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union. Hence the purpose of this paper is i. to singularize the specificities of Smart Tourism Destinations; ii. to show how the principles of personal data protection, as set forth by the GDPR, are allocated within the STD realm; iii. and, finally, to derive potential legal implications of this ecosystem. Our approach is based on a legal analysis engaged in scholarship research. We have mostly denoted the underestimation of the legal implications of technology-enhanced tourism experiences, and the marginalization of both informed involvement and awareness by the individual in these processes. This study is novel in having undertaken an initial exploration of the legal implications of experiences taking place by STD.
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