UK markets closed

Coronavirus pandemic guts hotel stay demand - data

(Reuters) - Hotel revenue slumped globally in February as the coronavirus outbreak across the world led to travel bans and cancelled vacations, with Hong Kong taking the biggest hit, according to analytics firm STR.

Data from STR, which runs a benchmarking platform for over 68,000 registered chains, groups and individual properties, showed revenue per available room (RevPAR) - a key metric for the industry - in Hong Kong fell 85.9% in February from a year earlier and 82.2% in mainland China.

Chinese-ruled Hong Kong city had already been reeling under disruptions caused by intense clashes since pro-democracy protests escalated in June last year.




Interactive graphic https://tmsnrt.rs/33sqi4b on February RePAR


The highly contagious novel coronavirus that has exploded into a global pandemic has forced major hotel operators including Hyatt Hotels <H.N>, Marriott <MAR.O> and IHG <IHG.L> to offer waivers on cancellations and changes in bookings for travellers in several countries and also shut hotels.

Most recently, Hyatt withdrew its 2020 earnings outlook, while the world's biggest hotel operator Marriott warned the outbreak could significantly hurt its full-year results.

South Korea, Singapore and Thailand saw RevPAR fall between 30% and 47%, STR said.

In the United States, San Francisco revenue fell 12%, while New York dropped 0.2% and Los Angeles 1.6%.

Airlines have also made unprecedented cuts to flights, costs and staffing and stepped up calls for emergency aid as coronavirus lockdowns and new travel restrictions hit more major routes.

Shares of Marriott were down 30%, Hyatt's were 23% lower and U.S.-listed shares of IHG fell 7.5%.


(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)