Hilton closes 150 hotels in China until the coronavirus outbreak subsides, which may put a £38million dent in its earnings
- Hotel chain says the temporary closures come at the request of local authorities
- It says that it hopes to re-open the affected properties ‘as soon as we can’
- Hilton has four hotels in Wuhan as well as 225 others across Greater China
Hilton has closed 150 hotels across China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The hotel chain says the temporary closures come at the request of local authorities.
The firm has also revealed it expects that earnings for 2020 could be impacted by between $25milllion (£19.2million) and $50million (£38.4million) due to the virus.
The Hilton Wuhan Optics Valley Resort, one of the 150 hotels that Hilton has closed across China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak
Hilton has four hotels in Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak, and 225 others across Greater China.
In a conference call to investors, Hilton’s CEO Christopher Nassetta confirmed: ‘At this point, roughly 150 of our hotels in China totalling approximately 33,000 rooms are closed.’
China represents 2.7 per cent of the hotel chain’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (payment spreading).
Nassetta added that assuming the impact and recovery from the virus lasts up to 12 months, earnings would take a hit of between $25million and £50million.
However, he noted: ‘We’re reporting at a time where we know a bunch, but not that much relative to where this thing is going.
‘But we thought the only responsible thing to do was to sort of look at historical perspective and give everybody the best sense that we have and use science around the data that we have.’
Hilton says that it hopes to re-open the affected properties ‘as soon as we can’.
It added that customers who are travelling to, from or through China and have rooms booked can modify or cancel their reservations without penalty.
More than 64,000 people have caught coronavirus worldwide with the death toll now at more than 1,380. Pictured are people queuing outside a pharmacy to buy protective masks in Hubei, China
A spokesman explained: ‘This currently includes reservations up until February 29, but we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust accordingly.
‘The Hilton Guest Assistance team is available to help with any questions.’
More than 64,000 people have caught coronavirus worldwide with the death toll now at more than 1,380.
Typical symptoms include a runny nose, a cough, a sore throat and fever (high temperature).
The illness can spread between people through coughs and sneezes, making it extremely contagious. It may also spread even before someone has symptoms.
It is believed to travel in saliva and even through the water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky.