Wyndham, the world’s largest hotel brand, has temporarily closed 70% of its hotels in China in response to the coronavirus outbreak


Wyndham Hotels has temporarily closed approximately 1,000, or 70%, of its 1,500 hotels in China in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Wyndham CEO Geoff Ballotti said on an earnings call with investors on Thursday.

To date, the coronavirus has infected over 64,000 people worldwide and claimed over 1,380 lives.

“The majority of the closures resulted from our owners and franchisees doing everything they could to protect their team members and prevent the spread of the virus,” Balotti said.

Wyndham hotels in China that have remained open are experiencing occupancy declines of up to 75%, according to Balotti. “We expect this to continue through at least the end of March,” he said.

China represents 2% of Wyndham’s adjusted EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, and Ballotti estimated that the coronavirus hotel closings, about 900 of which are Super 8 franchises, could have an $8 to $12 million adverse impact on the hotel’s 2020 earnings.

Wyndham is the world’s largest hotel company by number of properties, with over 9,300 hotels across 90 countries on six continents.

Dave DeCecco, Wyndham’s Group Vice President of Global Communications, shared the following statement with Business Insider in an email: “We are currently recommending that our hotels in China follow the guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and their local health departments – and to report any suspected cases to the proper authorities as soon as possible.”

Wyndham has also waived cancellation and change penalties for guests traveling to and from China with direct bookings in any of its hotels from January 22 through February 29, DeCecco said.

Wyndham joins other major hotel brands that are temporarily shuttering hotels in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Best Western has temporarily closed approximately 65% of its 52 hotels in China, Kelly Dalton, Managing Director for Brand Marketing & Corporate Communications, previously told Business Insider in an email. Hilton has temporarily closed over 60% of its 225 hotels in Greater China.

Meanwhile, short-term rental bookings site Airbnb has suspended bookings in Beijing through April 30 and enacted its extenuating circumstances policy for bookings throughout China. At least 73 airlines have canceled flights to and from the country.