OYO and the China market
>> OYO’s Chinese rival H Hotel, a budget hotel chain backed by Shanghai-based hospitality group Huazhu and venture capital firm IDG Capital, has now been merged with Huazhu’s economy hotel brand Elan. H Hotel has signed up a total of 2,500 hotels as of 2019, and Elan Hotel has contracted over 600 properties.
>> SoftBank-backed Indian hotel chain OYO is undergoing a massive downsizing in China, slashing more than 7,000 employees since November, according to a report by local media. The number of employees at OYO China has plunged from more than 9,800 in November 2019 to about 2,700 as of Tuesday. (KrAsia)
Trip.com, Booking and Expedia
>> China's Trip.com Group is feeling so much pain from the coronavirus outbreak that CEO Jane Sun and chairman James Liang will stop taking salaries to help the company cope with losses. (CNN)
The company has launched presales of admissions to some 300 scenic spots, air tickets, accommodation and tour packages for 1,000 tourist routes which can be used anytime within the year. (Shine)
In Hong Kong, Trip.com Group has partnered with Standard Chartered, PCCW and HKT to launch a new virtual banking service and Asia’s first all-in-one numberless bank card, Mox. (OutofTownBlog)
>> Booking Holdings announced that it is withdrawing its previously-announced first-quarter 2020 financial guidance as a result of the worsening impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on travel demand.
The world's top OTA group said in February that it expected a 5%-10% drop in room nights in the first quarter. Total gross travel bookings were projected to fall by 10%-15% during the time, and revenues may decline by 3%-7%.
>> Expedia Group withdrew its adjusted EBITDA guidance this year due to the growing impact from the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting uncertainty on travel trends. The company now expects the negative impact in the first quarter to be more than the USD 30-40 million range provided earlier.
Airbnb widens losses, Travelzoo leaves Asia Pacific
>> Airbnb, which was preparing to go public in 2020, nearly doubled its losses in the fourth quarter last year — and that was before coronavirus upended the world. Airbnb’s fourth-quarter revenue leaped 32% to USD 1.1 billion, but EBITDA plunged 92.3% to a loss of USD 276.4 million. (Bloomberg)
>> Travelzoo will close its business in Asia Pacific this week. Operating profit reached USD 17 million in North America and Europe last year, but an operating loss of USD 7.5 million in Asia Pacific dragged the global profit down to USD 9.5 million. Asia Pacific accounts for only 5.7% of the company's global revenue. (Skift)
Disney in China and worldwide
>> The Shanghai Disney Resort reopened some of the shopping, dining and entertainment options on Monday, though the main theme park will remain closed to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. (Variety)
>> As various sports leagues and major conferences decide to postpone seasons and events in wake of the spreading coronavirus pandemic, Disney has decided to close all of its amusement parks. (TheVerge)
Other big companies
>> ITB is offering digital services 365 days a year by launching itb.com. The World’s Leading Travel Trade Show is establishing a completely new networking platform for the world’s travel industry. (4hoteliers)
>> Although there has not yet been a change of ownership, the recent change in management of HNA Group, the heavily indebted Chinese airline conglomerate and aggressive global M&A acquirer of recent years, should be enough to initiate a national security review of the group’s U.S. holdings. (Bloomberg)
>> Hong Kong Airlines has turned to Air China and other parties for a strategic lifeline to reverse its financial woes, amid an impasse with a consortium of white knights after nearly nine months of fruitless negotiations. (SCMP)
>> Beijing Shiji Information Technology's stock price fell by the daily exchange-imposed limit after the Trump administration ordered the Chinese firm to sell StayNTouch on the grounds that its ownership of the US hotel management software maker could present a danger to US national interests. (Yicai)