Virus dents bookings for IHG; Japan may lose $1.29 billion | Daily Brief
02/18/2020|5:22:24 PM|ChinaTravelNews

Key developments:

* Virus dents bookings for IHG
* Japan may lose $1.29 billion in tourism
* China’s aviation market shrinks
* China accounts for 60% of OYO's losses

Worldwide updates:

Eurozone fears trade, tourism will suffer

>> Even if the outbreak ends quickly, the disruption in the supply chain will affect trade, tourism and confidence, with repercussions for the entire global economy, Klaus Regling, Director of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) for the eurozone said on Monday.

Many analysts are revising their growth forecasts for China and other Asian economies downwards and now expect negative growth for the first quarter.

Virus dents bookings for IHG

>> InterContinental Hotels (IHG) warned on Tuesday that fewer travelers are booking its rooms in China because of the coronavirus outbreak. The owner of the Holiday Inn chain has been highlighted by analysts as among the European companies most directly exposed to the epidemic.

The group had begun to see an impact on bookings in late January and has now closed or partially closed 160 of its 470 hotels in Greater China. 

China’s aviation market shrinks to smaller than Portugal’s

>> China’s aviation market, projected to overtake the US this decade and become the world’s biggest, has shrunk to such an extent due to the coronavirus outbreak that it’s fallen from third to 25th, behind Portugal.

Airlines have slashed capacity because of the epidemic, leaving the industry reeling. About 1.7 million seats - almost 80% of capacity - were dropped from China services from Jan 20 to Feb 17 by global carriers, according to OAG Aviation. Meanwhile, Chinese airlines cut 10.4 million seats domestically.

Singapore carrier to cut flights

>> Singapore Airlines will temporarily cut flights across its global network in the three months to May, as the coronavirus epidemic hits demand for services to the Asian city state or through the key transit hub. Key affected destinations include Frankfurt, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Paris, Seoul, Sydney and Tokyo.

New Zealand carrier to reduce services

>> Air New Zealand advises that it will be reducing capacity on its Shanghai route throughout April, and Hong Kong route throughout April and May as a result of the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on customer demand. 

Shanghai services are currently suspended until 29 March as a consequence of international travel bans affecting crew logistics and customer bookings. The resumption of these services is dependent on a change in status of international travel restrictions.

Air Canada expects virus impact on Q1

>> Air Canada says its first quarter is expected to be hurt by the suspension of flights to mainland China and from Toronto to Hong Kong due to the novel coronavirus, the continued grounding of its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and increased maintenance and pension costs.

The airline says it expects its first-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to be about $200 million lower than the first quarter of 2019.

Japan may lose $1.29 billion in tourism

>> Japan may lose 1.29 billion dollars in tourism revenue in January-March due to travel bans introduced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization. 

Coronavirus hits Gold Coast tourism

>> Coronavirus is "the biggest crisis that [the] Gold Coast tourism sector has faced in its history" according a peak tourism body, with estimates the epidemic has already cost the glitter strip some AUD 500 million.

Destination Gold Coast's chief executive Annaliese Battista has called for AUD 10 million from the State Government, and said the AUD 2.4 million offered last week is "disappointing".

Travel restrictions to hurt Dubai hospitality

>> Dubai’s hospitality industry is most at risk in the Gulf Arab states region from being negatively impacted by travel restrictions associated with the new coronavirus outbreak, ratings agency S&P Global said in a research note.

Travel insurance sales soar

>> The COVID-19 virus has disrupted plans for millions of travelers worldwide. While not all travel insurance policies will cover these cancellations, companies offering "cancel for any reason" plans are seeing a spike in new customers.

Insurance firm InsureMyTrip said such policies are in high demand lately, with a 60% jump in sales since coronavirus started making headlines.

China accounts for 60% of OYO's losses

>> Indian hospitality firm OYO generated USD 307 million in revenue in China for fiscal year 2019, but recorded a net loss of USD 197 million during the same time, which accounted for 58.8% of the company's USD 335 million annual losses globally. International markets including China contributed to USD 252 million (75%) of OYO's total losses for the year, while these markets constituted only 36.5% of the global revenues.