March 20, 2020 / 1:50 PM / 13 days ago

Global hotel room revenue slumps 5.5% in February as coronavirus spreads: data

(Reuters) - Hotel room revenue slumped 5.5% globally in February from a year earlier as the coronavirus outbreak brought the airline industry to a halt and travel bans hurt vacation plans, data from analytics firm STR showed on Friday.

STR, which runs a benchmarking platform for over 68,000 registered chains, groups and individual properties, said occupancy fell 7.8% across the hotel industry.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) - a key metric for the industry - in Hong Kong fell 85.9% in February from a year earlier and 82.2% in mainland China, STR data showed earlier this week.

The highly contagious novel coronavirus that has exploded into a global pandemic has forced major hotel operators including Hyatt Hotels (H.N), Marriott (MAR.O) and IHG (IHG.L) to offer waivers on cancellations and changes in bookings for travelers in several countries and also shut hotels.

American hotel and travel industry executives met with U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday to discuss a potential $250 billion aid package, as thousands of hotel workers began furloughs due to the fast-spreading coronavirus.

IHG said on Friday demand for hotel rooms is at record lows.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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