Choice, Wyndham pull 2020 outlooks in response to COVID-19

The hotel's exterior
Choice Hotels International, which has a portfolio of more than 7,000 hotels, including the Cambria Hotel Charleston (S.C) Riverview, pulled its 2020 guidance. Photo credit: Choice Hotels International

Choice Hotels International and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts joined Hilton and Hyatt Hotels Corp. in withdrawing their full-year 2020 outlooks due to the evolving impact of COVID-19.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

"During this extraordinary time, our highest priority is the health and safety of our guests, owners and team members, especially those most affected by the outbreak,” Geoff Ballotti, CEO of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement. “We are focused on providing support to all members of our Wyndham family. We are also grateful to all of the heroic doctors, nurses, researchers, public servants and others who are fighting to meet this overwhelming challenge. And for those traveling, we encourage everyone to do so safely.

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"With the sudden and dramatic trajectory of COVID-19 here in North America and around the world, combined with increasing governmental restrictions limiting travel, we believe that the potential negative impact from the outbreak related to declining consumer demand for lodging will be more significant than we estimated on Feb. 13 when we provided outlook excluding coronavirus. Accordingly, we have decided to withdraw our previously announced outlook and earnings sensitivities. We plan to provide an update no later than our first-quarter earnings call.

"We remain confident in the strength and resiliency of our business model, balance sheet, cash flow and liquidity along with our brands' market-leading position in the economy and midscale select-service segments that are positioned for continued growth moving forward."

Wyndham's portfolio comprises approximately 9,300 hotels with more than 831,000 guestrooms.

Choice Hotels International

"The safety and well-being of guests, franchisees and associates is our top priority during these challenging and unprecedented times,” Pat Pacious, president/CEO of Choice Hotels International, said in a statement. “We are working closely with our hotel owners and operators in managing difficulties posed by COVID-19 and helping mitigate the impact on their business by providing best-in-class franchisee resources and implementing timely changes to policies and procedures aimed at extending relief and minimizing disruptions. Concurrently, we remain committed to serving guests and the communities across the world where our hotels operate.

"We are not able to precisely quantify the impact on our projected results at this time, given the uncertainty surrounding the impact of COVID-19 on the global hospitality industry—and specifically on the U.S. travel market, where the majority of our franchised hotels are located—as well as the rapidly changing circumstances impacting our hospitality franchising business, directly and indirectly. Consequently, we are withdrawing the guidance we previously issued on Feb. 18, 2020. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and expect to provide an update during our first quarter earnings call based on the best information then available.

"We are confident in the continued resiliency of our asset-light franchise business model, the strength of our proven brands, and our ability to navigate through these trying times. We are deeply proud of Choice Hotels' contributions to the hotel industry and the foundation that we've built over the course of our more than 80-year history, all of which position the company for continued, long-term success."

Choice’s portfolio consists of more than 7,000 hotels with more than 590,000 guestrooms, as of Dec. 31, 2019.