The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is for informational purposes only and is not legally binding in the event of a dispute. The FAQ is constantly updated after processing new and different questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

VIZA is an acronym for the Hungarian term for the Closed Database of Guest Information (Vendég Információs Zárt Adatbázis). The VIZA is a data repository operated by the tourism hosting provider under Section 9/H of Act CLVI of 2016 on State Functions Pertaining to the Development of Tourism Regions. Where applicable tourism legislation refers to a repository, it is understood to mean the VIZA system on the entire website.

Act CLVI of 2016 on State Functions Pertaining to the Development of Tourism Regions lays the legal foundation for scanning documents and storing their data in the VIZA system. The Act also specifies the obligations in connection with data processing: “In the course of operation, tourist hosting providers shall ensure the preservation and secure management of data entered into the data repository, the protection of non-public data, and the fulfilment of obligations related to confidentiality”. As data controller, the accommodation provider shall be required to have his own privacy policy.

The accommodation provider stores the accommodation service user’s data required by law in the Property Management System until the last day of the first year following the year in which such data were obtained. These data are submitted to the VIZA system by the Property Management System in an encrypted format. The data may be only by utilised for the purpose specified by law for the retention period prescribed for the accommodation provider, after which the data will be deleted from the VIZA system.

Based on the provisions of law, the VIZA system only receives name and address data on individual accommodation providers from the National Tourism Data Supply Centre for the purpose of identification; there is no other data connection between these two systems. The police may use the VIZA system to make targeted searches in the interest of law enforcement and crime prevention, as well as maintaining public order, public safety, secure border crossing, protecting the rights, safety and property of the data subject and others, and executing warrant procedures; these searches must be made for specific data series, the police may not view the entire data content of the VIZA system. The tourism hosting provider and the key provider may not have access to the data: neither of these organisations have the authorisation or the technical resources required for viewing the data.

The ID scanner must be able to scan the data required by law and included on the given document. The ID scanner transfers the scanned data to the Property Management System (PMS).

Yes, if the Property Management System connected to the mobile-phone-based ID scanner used for forwarding the data required by law to the VIZA system has the necessary certification.

The Property Management System with certification pertaining to the ability to report data to the VIZA, as issued by the tourism hosting provider, submits the data to the VIZA system with the aid of a data submission module, in an encrypted format and via a secure interface.

Property Management System (PMS) software providers can provide information on which ID scanner is compatible with the given Property Management System. The accommodation provider is responsible for purchasing and maintaining the operation of ID scanners. The Hungarian Tourism Agency provides the VENDÉGEM Property Management System free of charge to accommodation providers who offer no more than 8 rooms with a total of 16 beds. The software provides a comprehensive solution for ID scanning and data forwarding.

There are many ID scanners available on the market. The ID scanner to be used for forwarding data to the VIZA system must be able to work with the Property Management System certified for the required data transfer. The manufacturer or distributor of the given Property Management System can provide more information. The VENDÉGEM software used by accommodation providers who offer no more than 8 rooms with a total of 16 beds does not require a separate ID scanner, as the VENDÉGEM mobile app has its own ID scanner module. The accommodation provider is responsible for purchasing, operating and repairing the selected ID scanner, just as for all other tools used in the accommodation.

The police may search the data stored in the VIZA system using the tools of information technology, and as a result, they may find out the accommodation providers where the person meeting the specified search conditions is or was a customer.

Just as before, the police shall contact the accommodation provider if they require any additional data, taking into account the fact that the accommodation provider is the data controller for the guest data. The accommodation provider is required to fulfil such requests for data free of charge. In such cases, the instructions given by the police must be followed.

The police have a special retrieval system to ensure that they can only perform targeted searches for specific persons and that no-one can access the entire database. As a result of the search, the only information that the police may acquire is the name of the accommodation provider where the person in question has been registered as a user.

The accommodation provider is required by law to scan the data on a photographic ID suitable for establishing identity when the guest arrives, using an ID scanner, then using the Property Management System, the data are recorded in the repository provided by the hosting provider specified by the Government in a decree. Section 34 (1) of Government Decree 414/2015 of 23 December on the rules for issuing identity cards and on the uniform recording of likenesses and signatures requires guests to present an identity card to the accommodation provider: “Hungarian citizens, immigrants, permanent residents, refugees and persons with protected status shall be required to hold a valid identity card, to keep it save and to present it in the cases and in the manner specified by law, when requested to do so. On expiry of the identity card, if it is withdrawn, if eligibility ends, or a new permanent identity card is issued, the identity card must be handed in to the authority authorised to receive it”.

A new condition for using accommodation services is that the user must present a document suitable for establishing personal identity to the accommodation provider, so that the data on the identity card may be recorded in the VIZA system. According to the law, if the documents are not presented, the accommodation provider shall refuse to provide the accommodation service. Accommodation providers will be obliged to forward data to the VIZA system starting from 1 September 2021.

Under operative Hungarian law, all citizens are required to have an identity document (identity card, passport or driving licence card) regardless of age, thus now including the newborn. The law makes no distinction based on age regarding the obligation to present the document, so all guests are required to present a photographic identity document upon arrival. There is no age limit for applying for identity cards for children. Please note that if you or anyone travelling with you does not have a valid identity document before setting off on your journey, we recommend that you read the conditions for the issue, replacement and renewal of Hungarian identity documents in good time, available on Government Customer Service [Kormányablak] information websites, and that you take the necessary steps to ensure that all travellers will have valid identity documents by the time they arrive at the accommodation:

  • Request for the issue of a permanent identity card
  • Request for the replacement or renewal of a permanent identity card
  • Request for the issue or replacement of a passport

According to operative legislation, if the guest fails to present a travel document or a document suitable for establishing identity, the accommodation provider is required to refuse to provide the service.

According to Section 9/H (2) of Act CLVI of 2016 on State Functions Pertaining to the Development of Tourism Regions, the user of an accommodation service shall present the document defined under paragraph (1)(b) to the accommodation provider for the purpose of recording the data. If the document is not presented, the accommodation provider shall refuse to provide the accommodation service. The accommodation service is provided on the basis of a civil law agreement entered into between the accommodation provider and the guest. If the guest fails to present documents to the accommodation provider, the provider is required to refuse to provide the accommodation service; the accommodation provider is not given the option of acting at his own discretion. In this case, it is the guest who fails to fulfil his obligations stemming from the agreement. In this case, therefore, if the guest fails to present the required identity documents, the general rules on a breach of contract or the rules on the cancellation of a booking shall apply. The parties come to a mutual agreement on the rules pertaining to cancellation (the proportion of the price for the service to be paid by the guest) according to the rules of civil law (e.g. as part of the general terms and conditions).

The provisions of Act V of 2013 on the Hungarian Civil Code and the general terms and conditions of the given accommodation provider determine whether or not the accommodation provider returns the deposit or the full accommodation fee paid in advance, and if so, in what manner.

As the personal data obtained from the documents by mechanical means (i.e. with the ID scanner) are rated as sensitive data, the security of forwarding and storing them is of high priority. In order to ensure the required security, the VIZA system only accepts data that have been encrypted using a suitable key. A different encryption key is used for each individual’s personal data. In line with legal requirements, the operator of VIZA system is unable to decrypt the encrypted data and is therefore unable to access the data stored in it.

The guest is required to present the identity document to the accommodation provider. This can take place at another location, however, for example if the accommodation provider hands over the key to the accommodation at a location other than the accommodation.

The ID scanner must be used to record the data in the Property Management System when the documents are presented.

There are many ID scanners available on the market, with differing technical parameters and performance. The ID scanner to be used for forwarding data to the VIZA system must be able to work with the Property Management System certified for the required data transfer and to scan the data required by law. The manufacturer or distributor of the given Property Management System software can provide more information. The VENDÉGEM software does not require a separate ID scanner, as the VENDÉGEM mobile app has its own ID scanner module. Data that cannot be recorded using the ID scanner must be recorded in the Property Management System manually by the accommodation provider.

Valid identity cards, driving licences and passports can be used for the identification of Hungarian citizens. Guests from other European countries must present an identity card, passport or driving licence. Guests from third countries are required to submit a passport for the purpose of document scanning and for establishing identity.

The law only requires that statistical data be supplied to the National Tourism Data Supply Centre (NTDSC). This means that only statistical and turnover data pertaining to guests as recorded in the Property Management System by the accommodation provider must be recorded and submitted to the NTDSC. The NTDSC will not obtain any personal data. The VIZA system is entirely separate from the NTDSC. The personal data that the accommodation provider records in the Property Management System using the ID scanner are entered into the VIZA system in an encrypted manner. The NTDSC and VIZA are two independent systems that are connected to the Property Management System by two entirely separate IT channels.

According to the law, presenting an identity document is a condition for using the accommodation service. The law also states that the document must be presented in other cases specified by law. In light of the above, it is lawful for the accommodation provider to require guests to present their identity documents, even without any terms and conditions. In line with the above, however, it is recommended that accommodation providers review and if necessary amend their privacy policies and their general terms and conditions.

There are many ID scanners available on the market, and they offer different functions. The manufacturer or distributor can provide detailed information on the technical requirements of the various ID scanners. The manufacturer or distributor of the given Property Management System can provide more information on the ID scanners that can be used at accommodation sites. The VENDÉGEM software does not require a separate ID scanner, as the VENDÉGEM mobile app has its own ID scanner module.

Yes. Failing to comply with the legal requirement for connecting and forwarding data to the VIZA system may incur penalties. For failing to connect and forward data, a penalty shall be imposed by the commercial authority with regional competence.

Yes. The law does not differentiate between accommodation providers based on type, so all accommodation providers are equally obliged to use ID scanners.

As the law does not differentiate between the users of accommodation services based on citizenship, the data of all guests staying in Hungarian accommodation must be recorded in the Property Management System using an ID scanner from a document suitable for establishing personal identity. The ID scanner used to scan the documents must be compatible with a Property Management System that is certified by the tourism hosting provider as capable of forwarding data to the VIZA system. Of the products available on the market, the ID scanner chosen should be able to recognise all passport types. The free VENDÉGEM software’s ID scanning module supports the scanning of Hungarian and European identity cards, driving licences and passports, as well as the passports of guests from third countries.

As a general rule, the accommodation provider may record the data in the Property Management System using an ID scanner, which requires the guest to present an identity document. Otherwise, the accommodation provider shall refuse to provide the accommodation service. The accommodation provider is not required to proceed in person, for example, he may instruct an employee or agent to scan the necessary IDs; the accommodation provider is responsible and liable for organising this. The commercial authority with regional competence checks the connection to the VIZA system, and thus the data forwarding.

As a general rule, the accommodation provider may record the data in the Property Management System using an ID scanner. This requires the guest to present an identity document. Otherwise, the accommodation provider shall refuse to provide the accommodation service. The accommodation provider is not required to proceed in person, for example, he may instruct an employee or agent to scan the necessary IDs; the accommodation provider is responsible and liable for organising this. This can be done in other locations too, for example if the accommodation provider hands over the key at a location other than the accommodation. The commercial authority with regional competence checks the connection to the VIZA system, and thus the data forwarding.

You should contact the company which you purchased the ID scanner from, or the manufacturer or distributor of the Property Management System. If you are having trouble with the VENDÉGEM (My Guest) application, or have any questions about it, call customer service at +36-1-550-1855 or write to the turisztika@1818.hu e-mail address.

The Property Management System (PMS) can confirm whether submission of the data was successful or not.

There are many ID scanners available on the market, and they may offer different technical functions. The ID scanner to be used for forwarding data to the VIZA system must be able to work with the Property Management System certified for the required data transfer. The manufacturer or distributor of the given Property Management System can provide more information. The accommodation provider is responsible for purchasing, operating and repairing the selected ID scanner, just as for all other tools used in the accommodation.

Yes. At the end of each year, a screening process takes place in the VIZA system that irrecoverably deletes the data recorded and stored in an encrypted form prior to the period specified by law.

Using the ID scanner and the Property Management System, the accommodation provider records the data required by law when a user of the accommodation service checks in, and the data are stored in the repository specified by the Government in a decree. Data can be entered into the Property Management System manually in exceptional cases, for instance, if there is a technical malfunction, but an effort should be made to rectify the situation hindering the use of the ID scanner as quickly as possible.

All accommodation providers are required to have a privacy policy. As before, the accommodation provider is still the data controller and the tourism hosting provider is still the data processor following introduction of the VIZA system, so the accommodation provider must still produce a privacy policy. Since each accommodation provider determines which personal data to record for what purpose and how long these shall be retained, the privacy policy must be tailored to the accommodation and the accommodation provider. A professional (data protection officer or solicitor) can provide assistance in preparing the privacy policy.

If the guests receive accommodation services, data reporting is obligatory regardless of the actual duration of the service.

No, expired documents are not able to identify guests. Under Section 9/H (1) (b) of the Tourism Act, the user of an accommodation service is required to present the accommodation provider with a document suitable for establishing their identity for the purpose of recording the data, and the given person can only be identified on the basis of a valid document. Under Act LXVI of 1992 on Keeping Records on the Personal Data and Addresses of Citizens, expired documents are not valid.
Under Act LXVI of 1992 on Keeping Records on the Personal Data and Addresses of Citizens, the identity card is invalid if

  1. the bearer is no longer entitled to an identity card,
  2. it is falsified or counterfeit,
  3. its validity has expired,
  4. the authorised holder is deceased,
  5. it is damaged or unsuitable for establishing personal identity,
  6. it has been reported as lost, damaged or stolen, or if it has been withdrawn or seized as part of infraction or criminal proceedings,
  7. infraction or criminal proceedings have been launched due to its unauthorised use.

All citizens are obliged to have an official document suitable for establishing identity, which they must carry at all times. Documents suitable for establishing identity 1. identity card, 2. passport, 3. card-format driving licence issued after 1 January 2001. If the user of the accommodation service does not have a valid passport or card-format driving licence and the validity of his permanent identity card has expired or the user has applied for a new identity card due to a change in data, a temporary identity card must be issued on his request. In this case, the temporary identity card is equivalent to a permanent identity card during its validity period. Accordingly, the accommodation provider is obliged to accept a temporary identity card for the purpose of registering for accommodation and for data recording.

According to Section 9/H (2) of Act CLVI of 2016 on State Functions Pertaining to the Development of Tourism Regions, the user of an accommodation service shall present the document under paragraph (1)(b) to the accommodation provider for the purpose of recording the data. If the documents are not presented, the accommodation provider shall refuse to provide the accommodation service. The accommodation service is provided on the basis of a civil law agreement entered into between the accommodation provider and the guest. If the guest fails to present documents to the accommodation provider, the provider is required to refuse to provide the accommodation service; the accommodation provider is not given the option to act at his own discretion. In this case, it is the guest who fails to fulfil his obligations stemming from the agreement. According to the legal position of the HTA, this case is equivalent to the guest failing to appear at the accommodation at the start of the service. Thus, if the guest fails to present the required identity documents, the general rules for a breach of contract or for the cancellation of a booking may be applied. The parties agree on the rules pertaining to cancellation (the proportion of the price for the service payable by the guest) according to the rules of civil law (e.g. as part of the general terms and conditions).