Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Hilton forced to close 150 hotels in China due to coronavirus

Hilton has been forced to close 150 hotels in China due to the coronavirus, removing a total of 39,000 hotels from sale, it revealed today.

CEO Chris Nassetta said it could take six to 12 months for the hotel chain to recover, based on past experience with the SARS epidemic

"We've tried to estimate the potential impact on our business. Three to six months of escalation and impact from the outbreak, and then these things don't typically turn around overnight, so another three to six months of recovery," Nassetta said.

Hilton expects the outbreak to knock $25 million to $50 million off the company's pre-tax earnings (EBITDA) this year.

Nassetta said the inbound China market currently accounts for about 2.7% of its EBITDA.

The China market had already been weak before the coronavirus outbreak, with revenue per available room down 7.7%. This was due to a slowdown in leisure trips and the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.



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