COVID-19

Disney theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong are closed due to coronavirus

Jasmine Garsd Feb 4, 2020
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Disney closed down its Hong Kong and Shanghai parks due to the spread of the coronavirus. Ayaka McGill/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Disney theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong are closed due to coronavirus

Jasmine Garsd Feb 4, 2020
Disney closed down its Hong Kong and Shanghai parks due to the spread of the coronavirus. Ayaka McGill/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The spread of coronavirus has led Disney to close both its Shanghai and Hong Kong parks until further notice, a move that will likely have an effect on its profits this quarter.

The entertainment business is notoriously fickle. But John Gerner, a leisure industry expert at Leisure Business Advisors, said theme parks are generally more stable than movie or TV. But that’s been reversed, here.

The spread of the coronavirus means tens of thousands of people won’t be visiting two of Disney’s major theme parks in Asia. According to Olivier Ponti, vice president of insights at travel analytics company ForwardKeys, this will affect more than just Disney.

“A crisis of this magnitude, can send ripples across the whole tourism ecosystem,” Ponti said. “China is the world’s number one market in terms of travel spending.”

The epidemic began raging in the middle of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which is peak tourist season. But Disney is used to weathering crises. And weathering weather crises, said Gerner of Leisure Business Advisors.

“It’s similar to a situation that theme parks deal with all the time, with weather,” he said. “Suddenly, you’ll have a particularly bad weather period — the park underperforms or may even have to close.”

Unlike stormy weather, the coronavirus has captured global attention, and it’s not clear when it will pass. The virus has also shut down nearly every movie theater in China — that’s around 70,000 screens that won’t be showing Disney movies.

“At this point its really hard to quantify what the impact will be, from a financial perspective,” said Tuna Amobi, an analyst with CFRA Research. “It’s going to depend on how much, how long this closure remains.”

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s the latest on the extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

As of now, those $600-a-week payments will stop at the end of July. For many, unemployment payments have been a lifeline, but one that is about to end, if nothing changes. The debate over whether or not to extend these benefits continues among lawmakers.

With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, are restaurants and bars shutting back down?

The latest jobs report shows that 4.8 million Americans went back to work in June. More than 30% of those job gains were from bars and restaurants. But those industries are in trouble again. For example, because of the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, increased restrictions on restaurant capacities and closed bars. It’s created a logistical nightmare.

Which businesses got Paycheck Protection Program loans?

The numbers are in — well, at least in part. The federal government has released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Some of the companies people are surprised got loans include Kanye West’s fashion line, Yeezy, TGI Fridays and P.F. Chang’s. The companies you might not recognize, particularly some smaller businesses, were able to hire back staff or partially reopen thanks to the loans.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.