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Booking Holdings CEO: People Are Scared To Travel, But It Will Pass

Booking Holdings CEO: People Are Scared To Travel, But It Will Pass

People are scared to book vacations amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BKNG) CEO Glenn Fogel has an inside look as both the CEO of a portfolio of travel companies and as someone who recovered at home from the virus.

Booking CEO: 'This Is Nothing To Laugh About' 

People are "much more concerned" with making sure there is enough money on hand to take care of their "immediate needs," Fogel said Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

People are also worried if they will still have a job or if they or a member of their family will get sick, the CEO said.

These are "real concerns" and certainly more pressing than planning a vacation for July, he said. 

"That's the basic thing I totally feel for everybody having been through this myself. I know this is nothing to laugh about," he said.

"I have been so fortunate and so lucky to come right out of it but I know there a lot of people who are not coming out quite as easily."

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The Impact On Restaurants 

Among the more than 54,000 restaurants on OpenTable's platform, "very, very few" are open today, Fogel said.

In-dining reservations are still seen "here and there," although it is unclear if this is the result of people not listening to stay-at-home directives, he said. 

Regardless, this is a "temporary period" and small restaurants without large cash flows and savings need support, the CEO said. 

What's Next For Booking 

The travel industry was likely the first to be impacted by the coronavirus and will likely be the last to recover, the CEO said.

While travel will resume at some point, travel companies need some form of support to help get over this "bad period," Fogel said. 

The stock was down 1.82% at $1,248.47 at the time of publication Thursday.

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