Travelmate's Privacy Policy

This policy addresses personal privacy matters. Its purpose is to explain, in general terms, what sort of personal information Travelmate holds and why we hold it, and how Travelmate collects, uses and discloses that information. In this policy, where we refer to “you” or “your”, we are referring specifically to natural persons as opposed to other entities such as partnerships, trusts and companies.

Travelmate is committed to safeguarding the privacy of any personal information individuals are required, or may choose, to give to us. This policy represents Travelmate’s position on the management of personal information. It also reflects the requirements of the Privacy Act and has been prepared with the assistance of publications issued by the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner.

How does Travelmate collect personal information?

Travelmate will only ask for the personal information it reasonably requires to do business with you. Most information is obtained through online forms at our websites www.travelmate.com.au and www.needitnow.com.au. We may also collect personal information via phone or through hardcopy forms.

Travelmate will not collect non-publicly available personal information about you without your consent and will not buy, rent or otherwise acquire information about you from third parties (such as marketing agencies) without your prior express consent.

What information do we collect?  How do we use it?

The personal information Travelmate may collect about you is dependent, to some extent, upon your relationship with Travelmate. The following are some examples of the types of personal information that Travelmate may collect from individuals:

(a)  When you sign up for our newsletter, we need only an email address, which we use to send the newsletter you requested.

(b)  When you submit any suggestion, game, suggested link, recommendation, or comment we also ask for your email address although we will not publish your email address without your prior approval. We may use this information to contact you in clarifying any issues you raised.

(c)  When you enter a contest or other promotional feature, we may ask for your name, address, and email address so we can administer the contest and notify winners. Travelmate may also use the information collected to market certain services or products to the contestants. Where Travelmate intends to do this, it will advise the contestant of this in the contest’s terms and conditions

(d)  When you make a booking enquiry we will ask for your name, address, phone number and email address. We may use this information to contact you regarding your enquiry.

(e)  When you confirm an accommodation or other booking through Travelmate we will provide your name, address and phone number to the accommodation (or other service) provider. We may also provide your credit card details to the accommodation provider in order to secure your booking. If you do not wish to supply your credit card details to Travelmate it is possible to advise these details directly to the accommodation provider.

(f)  We may also use the information we collect to notify you about important functionality changes to the website, new Travelmate services, and special offers we think you'll find valuable.

An overview of how Travelmate uses and discloses personal information

Subject to the exceptions set out in the National Privacy Principles (for example, the disclosure of personal information when allowed or required by law), Travelmate will only use and/or disclose your personal information for:

(a)  the primary purpose for which it is collected; or

(b)  a related purpose, where you would reasonably expect that it be used and/or disclosed without your further consent.

Will Travelmate send you marketing material in the mail and email and what can you do to stop that?

A related purpose for which Travelmate collects personal information may be marketing.  However, if this is not the case, Travelmate is entitled to send marketing material to you provided it gives you a chance to stop or “opt-out” of receiving this material.

Travelmate will set out in all its standard marketing material details of simple steps that you can take to stop receiving marketing material. Travelmate will not charge you any additional cost or in any way disadvantage you if you choose to opt out of receiving marketing material.

When does Travelmate share information?

Travelmate generally will only disclose your personal information to the accommodation (or other service) provider following confirmation by you of a booking for accommodation or other services or products.

Travelmate will not disclose your personal information to a third party for marketing purposes unless Travelmate has obtained your express consent or you have “opted-in”, that is, you have expressly agreed to your personal information being disclosed to a third party.

Travelmate may provide aggregate statistics about our customers, sales, traffic patterns, and related site information to reputable third-party vendors, but these statistics will include no personally identifying information.

Travelmate may release personal information when we believe, in good faith, that such release is reasonably necessary to comply with law or to protect the rights, property or safety of Travelmate, our users, or others.

Functionality on some parts of the Travelmate web site are provided by a third party. Personal information submitted in forms on these parts of the site are subject to the Privacy Policies of the relevant third parties.  These include:

Tour bookings provided by Viator - Read the Viator Privacy Policy

Booking hostels and backpacker accommodation provided by Hostel World - Read the Hostel World Privacy Policy

Purchasing items from TravelStore provided by Menda - Read the Menda Privacy Policy

Car Hire provided by Europcar - Read the Europcar Privacy Policy

Travel Insurance provided by Columbus Direct Travel Insurance - Read the Columbus Direct Travel Insurance Privacy Policy

Travelmate may disclose your personal information to a likely or actual buyer of the whole or part of the Travelmate business, if reasonably necessary for such a sale.

Security measures Travelmate adopts to protect personal information

Travelmate stores personal information in a range of paper-based and electronic forms:

(a)  Paper Security – Where personal information is stored in physical form, Travelmate will use access control measures such as keyed access and security alarms to deter and detect unauthorised access.

(b)  Computer and Network Security – Travelmate adopts a number of security measures to protect information from unauthorised access to its computer systems which include:

  • access control for authorised users such as user passwords and screen saver passwords;
  • limiting access to shared network drives to authorised staff;
  • virus checking;
  • specialised IT support to deal with security risk.

Communications Security – Transmission of personal information may involve insecure telecommunications lines. Security of this personal information is enhanced by:

  • checking facsimile numbers before sending personal information, and confirming receipt;
  • passwords required for some internet transmissions;
  • checking identity before giving out any personal information; and
  • encryption of data for high risk transmissions, including credit card details.

Personal information in Travelmate’s possession may be retained in archival storage. Generally Travelmate will destroy personal information after a period of seven (7) years following its collection unless it is required, or may be required, to be kept for a longer period because of the purpose(s) for which it was originally collected.

Access to your personal information held by Travelmate

If you want access to your personal information held by Travelmate, you should put your request in writing and clearly identify the personal information you seek access to. This is important to ensure that the information can be retrieved quickly and cheaply. All requests for access must be addressed to The Privacy Compliance Officer (see contact details below).

Depending on the circumstances, Travelmate reserves the right to charge you a reasonable administrative fee. For example, Travelmate’s reasonable administrative costs might include:

  • reasonable staff costs in locating and collating the information;
  • reasonable reproduction or photocopying costs; and
  • reasonable costs involved in having someone explain the information to you.

In some instances, Travelmate may not release the personal information. For example, if the information reveals a formula or the fine details of a commercially sensitive decision-making process, then, in these instances, Travelmate may decide to give you an explanation of the commercially-sensitive decision rather than direct access to the information.

Alteration of records containing personal information

Travelmate will take reasonable steps to correct any personal information that is inaccurate.

Travelmate’s use of "cookies"

"Cookies" are small pieces of information that a website transfers to your computer’s hard drive for record-keeping purposes. Our cookies do not contain any personally identifying information, but they do enable us to track site traffic patterns. Travelmate uses this information to improve our design, layout and service to users. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can change your browser settings to prevent that. Even without a cookie, you can still use all of the features on our site.

Accountability and complaints handling

If you wish to make a complaint to Travelmate about a possible breach of privacy, the complaint should be in writing and clearly set out the nature of the complaint. The complaint should be addressed to The Privacy Compliance Officer (see contact details below).

Individuals inquiring about their rights and remedies for breaches of privacy can access detailed information at the Australian Privacy Commissioner’s website, www.privacy.gov.au.

How changes to this policy will be notified

Travelmate may amend the Travelmate Privacy Policy from time to time. Amendments to the Travelmate Privacy Policy may be necessitated by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, operational and procedural changes and/or the changing legal environment in which Travelmate operates.

When changes are effected, the Travelmate Privacy Policy will be updated with the amendments highlighted. The change will be effective on and from the date the amended Travelmate Privacy Policy is posted on the websites.

Linked websites

Travelmate contains links to other sites not affiliated with Travelmate. These sites have their own policies and practices about on-line privacy, and Travelmate cannot be responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these unaffiliated websites.

Other Privacy issues

Whenever you post unprotected personal information on-line in areas accessible to others - eg chat areas and message boards- that information can be collected and used.

Ultimately you are the one who can best control the secrecy of your passwords and account details. You should be careful when you are online.

How to contact us

If you have any questions about the Travelmate Privacy Policy, our privacy practices or your personal information dealings with Travelmate, please contact us or write to:

The Privacy Compliance Officer
Australian Online Travel Ltd
Level 12, East Tower, Transit Centre, 151 Roma Street, Brisbane QLD 4000