NTAK was in the focus of attention at the Hungarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (MSZÉSZ) Digital Section meeting
The MSZÉSZ Digital Section meeting dedicated to the National Tourism Data Service Centre was organised by the Hungarian Tourism Agency and the Hungarian Hotel Association on 8 April, Monday.
The event was covered by turizmus.com:
The NTAK software test interface was also presented at the event.
The National Tourism Data Service Centre (NTAK) and the mandatory data supply of accommodation providers introduced this year was discussed at the MSZÉSZ Digital Section meeting organised in co-operation with the Hungarian Tourism Agency on 8 April 2019.
The Chair of the Digital Section and Business Development Director of the Danubius Hotels Group Zoltán Bogár and the Deputy Director for Tourism Strategy of the Hungarian Tourism Agency Dávid Farkas welcomed the participants.
Áron Szabó, director of the Hungarian Tourism Agency responsible for accommodation and catering, delivered a presentation on the actual issues relating to NTAK.
He presented the test interface of the NTAK software, on which accommodation providers will need to register. He also confirmed the information discussed at the 50th General Meeting of MSZÉSZ. He also explained that while the hotels are relatively advanced in the use of digitisation, according to a survey conducted last year, the smaller accommodation providers are in a much worse position: hardly 8 per cent of the other accommodation providers use any accommodation management software. The digital technology is not yet present there in the daily business management, he said.
He stressed that the implementation of the Croatian eVisitor system in 2016, which was one of the foreign examples used by NTAK, generated only positive feedback.
He reminded the audience that the single data supply system would be introduced at the accommodation providers gradually. The national information supply and the info.ntak.hu website were launched in March. The system will start operating in approximately one thousand Hungarian hotels on 1 July, B&Bs will need to introduce it in October 2019 and other accommodation providers will have to supply data from 1 January 2020 following registration. The system will be complete in the country from the beginning of 2020. MTÜ will develop a free guest registration application for accommodation providers using no more than 8 rooms or 16 beds. The submitted statistical data will be accessible by the Central Statistical Office, the National Tax and Customs Administration, the MTÜ Research Directorate and local governments and the system complies with all legal requirements, he stated. It is another objective to use the same platform for filing tourist tax declarations but a decree must still be modified before it becomes feasible.
An officer of the Croatian National Tourism Office, Anton Brkić was also invited to the event to talk about his experience about the system which is very similar to NTAK (which practically served as one of its examples).
He explained that eVisitor, which was introduced in 2016, has also replaced the guest book and made it significantly simpler to register guests (which is an obligation also for charter companies and ship companies). Another advantage of the system is that it provides assistance in the rather complicated calculation of the tourist tax. In addition, 97-98% of the tourist data entered into the system are available within three days, while in the past it required weeks.
The service providers may apply to the local tourist offices for help in relation to any problem detected in the system. According to the Croatian expert, the first year was not simple, partly because a lot of service providers did not agree with the mandatory detailed data supply, but by now everybody has accepted that obligation.
Péter Koleszár, the Senior ICT Advisor of the Modern Enterprise Programme of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was also invited to the event to talk about two potential sources of funding of the digital development.
The Modern Enterprise Programme, established two years ago, offers free advice and solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises of less developed regions for digital development. The two sources of funding, from which entrepreneurs can gain assistance, are the GINOP 3.2.2 support scheme for corporate complex info-communication mobile developments, cloud-based online business service dissemination and the Digital Welfare Financial Programme, which is a credit scheme. The resources available in these schemes can also be used for NTAK development. Although the assistance will most probably arrive too late because of the close deadline, but according to the speaker there is a great deal of certainty about the availability of the funding.
In the end, Zsolt Bujáki, Managing Director of BitSoft Magyarország, talked about how a system integrator understood NTAK and its development process.
As he said, the development process seems a lot more seamless than that of any other previously implemented systems. The test environment of NTAK, completed approximately three weeks ago, functions well, and he believes that any problem can easily be remedied.
BitSoft Magyarország also often attends GDPR consultations. With that background, the expert expressed his strong belief that no solution is hidden in any development documentation which would be a risk in terms of the protection of personal data.