As travelers cancel their hotel stay, and business travelers are restricted from nonessential travel by their employers, major hotel chains are feeling the pinch as the coronavirus continues to spread. Several hotels have closed or are planning to close, which will lay off millions of workers.

According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, nearly 4 million jobs will be lost in the next few weeks due to the closure of the hotels because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hilton (HLT) reportedly plans to close hotels in most of the major U.S. cities as it sees bookings drop to single-digit numbers. Marriott (MAR), Hyatt (H), Best Western, and others are also closing hotels, the New York Post reported.

“Hilton’s been around 100 years — we’ve never closed a hotel that wasn’t going to be demolished or rebuilding,” Christopher Nassetta told Bloomberg. “The bulk of our hotels in the major cities are closing as we speak.”

As the closures get underway, many hotel chains are offering flexibility to travelers that are looking to cancel or change their reservations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marriott said it is allowing for changes in reservations or cancelation 24 hours before a stay without penalty while Hyatt is allowing changes or cancellations without charges for arrivals between March 14 and April 30 up to 24 hours before a stay. Hilton's cancellation policy allows for changes or cancellations at no charge up to 24 hours before arrival on reservations made before April 30.

Holiday Inn posted on its website that it is waiving cancellation fees for existing and new bookings at all hotels globally for stays between March 9 and April 30. Wyndham is offering no-fee cancellations up to 6 p.m. on the day of arrival.

The major hotel chains are also looking for financial relief, which has prompted the heads of many of these companies to meet with President Trump in what sources for the New York Post are calling an “unprecedented” move.

Shares of Hyatt stock were down 27.25% as of 11:20 a.m. EDT on Wednesday while shares of Marriott stock were down 30.34% at the same time. Shares of Hilton stock were down 19.96% while shares of Wyndham stock were down 30.48% also at the same time. 

Hyatt Hotels Hyatt Hotels posted higher than expected quarterly profit in 2012. Photo: REUTERS