The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal said on Sunday it has noted with regret, the business decision by the iconic Hilton Durban Hotel to close its doors.
“The Department understands the pressures facing the establishment and was involved in interventions to try and the avert the closure. The department is concerned that this closure will have a negative impact on jobs.
“We respect the business decision that has been taken to close the establishment temporarily and we understand the rationale behind it. While this is not a preferred situation, it must be noted that the closure of the Hilton Durban Hotel happens in the context of a depressed global economy. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global hotel group has taken a decision to close down over 1000 Hilton Hotels worldwide including one in Cape Town which closed down last year,” said MEC Ravi Pillay in a statement.
The Hilton Durban Hotel’s positioning and its symbiotic relationship with the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) has, for many years, reinforced Durban’s position as a prime host of premier international events. The iconic hotel has also played a huge role in attracting tourists to eThekwini and to the province, said Pillay.
“As the provincial government we value the Hilton Hotel as a strategic investment in our province. Together with other spheres of government, including the eThekwini Municipality we will continue working with the Hilton to ensure that we find solutions and to ensure they re-open their doors soon. We hope that the rollout of the vaccine this year will speed up the economic recovery and reopening of many businesses such as the Hilton Durban establishment. We are working with all sectors to ensure that we revive the economy so that we can save jobs” the MEC said.