Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) has become the latest corporate victim of the Wuhan coronavirus. The company temporarily shuttered its Shanghai theme park to help prevent the spread of infection.
“In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and Cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown ... starting Jan. 25,” management said on its website.
Disney will refund admissions tickets, hotel bookings and other prepaid services. The closure will cost significant revenue expected for the nation’s largest holiday season. Last year, so many tourists flocked to the park during the seven-day Lunar New Year that Disney cut off ticket sales to prevent overcrowding.
Why It's Important For Disney
This year, even if Disney would have remained open, it would have missed business from more than 18 million prospective visitors as Wuhan, Wuanggang and other cities enforce travel restrictions.
It’s not the only business hurting from the virus. Airlines have cancelled flights to infected regions, travel agencies have lost clients, motor companies have delayed foreign business, film companies have postponed premiere screenings, and consumers have opted not to expose themselves in retail shops, hotels, casinos or restaurants. The total economic impact of the virus is not yet forecasted.
Disney management will announce a reopening date after the situation calms.
At time of publication, Disney's stock traded down marginally around $141.31 per share.