March 2 (Reuters) - Group booking site HotelPlanner.com, which has seen bookings in Asia fall 60% so far this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, could see a further 20% fall in business, a top executive and co-owner of the website said on Monday.
HotelPlanner provides group booking tools for companies such as Expedia Group Inc and gets about 20% of revenue from Asia.
“Business to China has essentially stopped,” Bruce Rosenberg, President of the Americas for HotelPlanner, told Reuters, adding that business in Asia was still trending down due to the epidemic, which has killed over 3,000 people and wrecked havoc on the global travel industry.
Dozens of airlines have suspended flights to China and hotels have seen reservations plunge as governments and corporations continue to tighten travel restrictions.
“These are the most challenging times for the travel and hospitality industry since 9/11,” said Thomas Cooke, professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Hyatt Hotels, larger rivals Marriott International Inc and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc have also issued cancellation waivers for guests affected by the outbreak in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
“Basically all of our corporate accounts are looking at their travel schedules right now and a lot of people are cancelling,” said Rosenberg, who was expected to be in Berlin this week for a travel conference.
The event is one of many in Europe that have been canceled due to fears over the virus spreading.
HotelPlanner’s bookings in Europe are down 20% this year, while Rosenberg said business in the United States was still holding strong. The company does not reveal its annual revenue figures. (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)