Booking.com cuts workforce by thousands as travel atrophies

Booking.com cuts workforce by thousands as travel atrophies

Booking.com is laying off a quarter of its workforce — more than 4,000 people — with the global pandemic snuffing out travel.

Layoffs will begin next month and run through the end of the year, according to parent company Booking Holdings Inc.

Booking Holdings, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, also owns the restaurant reservation company OpenTable and Priceline.com.

The number of room reserved at Booking.com during the first quarter of this year tumbled 43%, to 124 million.

The company warned investors in May to brace for worse in the second financial quarter, the results of which are due Thursday.

Booking.com, based in Amsterdam, is a dominant player in Europe, where it controls more than 60% of online travel bookings, according to a 2018 report from Hospitality Europe. But bookings have plummeted as travel from major markets like the U.S. and China has slowed significantly.

The number of people passing through U.S. airport checkpoints is running about 70% lower than a year ago, according to figures from the Transportation Security Administration. Travel plunged about 95% by mid-April, then rose steadily until levelling off throughout July. More than 700,000 people were screened each of the last five days, through Monday, the first time that has happened since mid-March.

The World Tourism Organization, an agency of the United Nations, said late last month that there was a 56% drop in tourist arrivals between January and May. That’s about 300 million people, and $320 billion in lost international tourism receipts.

Booking.com has 17,500 employees and more than 200 offices worldwide.

Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press

Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central zone active cases down to 20

Province provides update

Gord Bamford serenades Sylvan Lake at sold out concert

Gord Bamford played for a sold out crowd at a drive-in concert Sept. 19 in Sylvan Lake

Snake Lake Brewing takes home gold in the Canadian Brewing Awards

Central Alberta breweries Hawk Tail Brewery and Blindman Brewing also brought home top accolades

Central Alberta rancher-turned-writer brings life experiences into fiction

J.L. Cole explores the complexities of relationships in debut novel Silver Heights

UPDATED: Red Deer has nine active COVID-19 cases

Number of cases increased by 107 Friday

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

Lacombe beekeepers give the buzz on winterizing hives

Winterizing a honeybee hive is not a simple task, local apiarists say

Six injured, man in custody following BB gun incident in Alberta, RCMP say

Airdrie’s downtown core was told to shelter-in-place, while others nearby were asked to stay inside

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Wetaskiwin RCMP make arrests for Hit and Run to residence

Damage estimates are expected to be in excess of $20,000.

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Most Read