The coronavirus crisis has rippled throughout the travel industry, including online booking sites, which has also experienced a dramatic business change. New reservations have also declined at Booking Holdings, according to CEO Glenn Fogel.
"The big part of the business right now is not new business, which is extremely limited because of the prohibitions on travel, but managing changes in travel plans," Fogel said.
Over the past month, Booking.com alone has received around 400,000 customer contacts a day — largely travelers looking to change or cancel plans, he said.
Fogel agreed that domestic travel will be the first to make a comeback, as international travel is more likely to have "high friction points" such as government restrictions and health screenings at border checks.
While Booking has not furloughed or laid off workers as a result of the pandemic yet, Fogel said his company and others in the travel industry will probably be forced to think critically about the size of their operations in the coming weeks and months. Booking also said last month that Fogel and the CEOs of the company's three brand divisions would temporarily forgo their salaries as the company weathers the downturn.
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