The repercussions of the coronavirus are beginning to show in the travel industry, as Asia-based tour operators, hotels and cruise lines feel the first impacts, and travel advisors begin to field calls from anxious customers. But U.S.-based tour operators remain relatively calm.
That’s not to say there has been no fallout. Last week, Pacific Delight Tours announced it is closing its doors; this week it was HotelnAir.com, a $25 million joint venture of Korea’s two largest agencies, Mode Tour and Hana Tour.
In an earnings call on Tuesday, Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta offered up a time frame for the virus. He said 150 of the brand’s hotels have been closed in China, and based on the industry’s experience with the SARS outbreak in 2003, he expects “escalation and impact from the outbreak” to continue for three to six months. Then, since “these things don’t turn around typically overnight, another three to six months on recovery. So essentially, a 6- to 12-month period of time.”