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KZN government vows to save Durban hotel

The hotel recently announced that it will be temporarily closing down its Durban branch until 1 July 2021 due to low bookings in recent months.

THE KwaZulu-Natal government has stepped in to prevent the historic Hilton Hotel in Durban from closing down. 

The hotel recently announced that it will be temporarily closing down its Durban branch until 1 July 2021 due to low bookings in recent months. 

The international hotel group, Hilton, has permanently closed down over 1000 of its hotels across the world since last year, including one in Cape Town.

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The hospitality industry has suffered huge economic losses with countries going into lockdowns and restrictions on movements due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ravi Pillay, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, said he is concerned about the job losses that would result from the permanent closure of the hotel.

“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, he said.

Pillay said the hotel has also played a huge role in attracting tourists to eThekwini and to the province and said they will be working with it towards its re-opening.

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The hotel was officially opened in 1997 and its sky-scraping blue glass finish is visible anywhere in Durban central.

However, Pillay did not share details of how exactly the KZN government will be assisting the hotel.

“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,” said Pillay.



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