ATLANTA, Ga., Sept. 19 – The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) today released the following statement in response to the recent IHG ransomware attack:
Last week, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) reported that its technology systems had been subject to unauthorized activity, which resulted in IHG’s booking channels, Reservations & Customer Care (RCC) call centers, and internal systems, such as Merlin and the IHG Help Desk, being disrupted. As a result, hotel franchisees – including many AAHOA Members – across the country saw a complete shutdown in guestroom bookings during this outage.
Most of these franchisees are small business owners who can ill afford to write off unexpected losses in bookings, especially as they continue to recover from the long-lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AAHOA Members (and other hotel franchisees) deserve an explanation. IHG must ensure these hard-working small business owners can recoup the losses incurred due to the booking system outage.
“IHG owes its franchisees transparency,” said AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake. “IHG has not been forthcoming in explaining the outage to AAHOA-Member hotel owners, who bore the brunt of revenue losses from bookings missed due to the disruptions. As the world’s largest hotel trade association, we speak for thousands of small business owners who deserve an explanation, as well as being made whole for these preventable losses.”
AAHOA Members are rightly concerned about the privacy of guests’ financial and personal data.
To maintain the trust and confidence of its current and future customers, and that of its franchisee community, IHG must shore up its booking systems to prevent future data security breaches and provide more transparency into what happened and how IHG plans to move forward.