Hotel chain Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it would cut about 22% of its corporate workforce, or 2,100 jobs, following the coronavirus outbreak that has ravaged the global travel industry.
Hilton’s announcement comes as the hotel industry has been among the worst hit by the pandemic, with travellers forced to cancel bookings and stay at home due to government enforced lockdowns.
Rivals Marriott International Inc and Hyatt Hotels Corp have also laid off or furloughed thousands of employees as bookings plunged.
Most hotel operators have signaled that a fall in bookings would hit a bottom in the second quarter, with a turnaround already taking place in key markets such as China, as the world’s second-largest economy gradually reopens for business.
Hilton said it is also extending previously announced furloughs, reduced hours, and corporate pay cuts for up to an additional three months.
“Never in Hilton’s 101-year history has our industry faced a global crisis that brings travel to a virtual standstill,” Chief Executive Officer Christopher Nassetta said.
Hilton’s corporate staff numbered 9,600 workers globally, while total employees were 173,000 at the end of 2019.