Hotels and travel agencies around the world allow free cancellation of reservations for the coronavirus

The main international hotel chains, especially those with a strong presence in China, are offering free cancellations for travelers who have reservations and decide to cancel their trip due to the coronavirus, the cause of Wuhan’s pneumonia and that has killed 132 people and almost 6,000 affected in thirty Chinese provinces.

Millions of people reconsider their travel plans for the Lunar New Year following the outbreak of Wuhan coronavirus. That is why the world’s leading hotel chains have announced that they will offer free changes or cancellations to reservations until February 8.

Marriott International has confirmed that it is «closely monitoring» the statements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization (WHO), and following the guidelines of these agencies and local health departments given that «the welfare of our guests and associates is of the utmost importance».

The hotel says they are «exempting cancellation fees for hotel stays until February 29» for those with reservations at hotels in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. In turn, the same policy is being applied for guests of those destinations that travel abroad to other hotels that Marriott has worldwide.

For its part, the InterContinental Hotel Goup (IHG) chain has secured in its official WeChat account that it will allow customers to change or cancel scheduled stays until February 3 in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan at no additional cost. The chain, which has 443 hotels in China under different brands, has four establishments in Wuhan, the Chinese city isolated by the authorities due to the outbreak of the epidemic.

Hilton has made the same decision, for the modification and cancellation of those who plan to travel, until February 8, to one of the 200 establishments that the US chain has in China, according to information published by FOX Business. This also applies to those traveling from China to hotels in the chain at any global location.

The coronavirus outbreak has also led the Hyatt chain to allow foreign or Chinese customers with reservations in Asia Pacific hotels to cancel their stays or change dates for free. The policy applies to Hyatt hotels in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but not all three in Sanya

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, which is under the parent group based in Hong Kong Jardine Matheson, said that all its hotels worldwide «manage consultations on a case-by-case basis.»

VERY LIMITED IMPACT FOR MELIÁ

Meliá Hotels International has announced that it will also waive cancellation fees in cases where customers of its five hotels in China require it. In a statement, the company has said it will also facilitate changes in reservations in China «taking into account the situation and interest» of customers. According to the Meliá website, the hotel group has two establishments in Shanghai, one in Xian, another in Jinan and another in Zhengzhou.

The Mallorcan hotel company has indicated that it is applying «the recommended prevention measures», «as well as other similar outbreaks in the recent past.» The hotels «have already implemented contingency plans, both from the point of view of public health and in their daily operation.»

From the hotel group has also indicated that they maintain «permanent and close contact» with the staff of the offices and establishments of Meliá and that they follow the instructions issued by the Health Authorities.

Hotels and travel agencies around the world allow free cancellation of reservations for the coronavirus

In the statement, the group celebrates that its employees in China and their families «are in perfect health,» and notes that the situation in the hotels «is quiet.»

«VERY LIMITED» IMPACT FOR MELIÁ

Although the five Meliá hotels open in the country remain operational, as a result of the measures established by the Government, occupations are very low, as reported by the hotel group.

However, in terms of the potential financial impact, being five hotels operated under a hotel management contract, Meliá estimates that the impact on its results «will be very limited.»

«Although it is still early to have a clear visibility of the evolution or duration of the established measures, the background in similar outbreaks points to a rapid reactivation of the activity in the event that the situation shows signs of remission,» they said.