The Sunshine City has temporarily lost another icon, with the Hilton Durban Hotel shutting its doors on 11 January.
In 2020, the Fairmont Zimbali Hotel in the Ballito was forced to close after suffering huge losses due to the country’s lengthy lockdown.
Tourism sector in precarious position
The Hilton Durban has also felt the impact of the global slump in demand for hotel accommodation over several months. The hotel will reportedly be closed until June.
“It being a temporary one [closure], we will work with the management of Hilton Hotel to make sure there is a reopening sooner rather than later. This is all part of the impact of COVID-19 and, yes, we are going through our second wave now,” KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development Ravi Pillay told SABC News.
The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the global tourism and hospitality sectors. Lockdowns and travel bans have decimated the sectors, leaving many hotels and tourism-related businesses in precarious financial positions.
ORIGINS OF DURBAN’S HILTON HOTEL The Hilton is situated next to the Durban ICC. Image: Supplied
The prestigious five-star Hilton Durban opened its doors in 1997. Located next to Durban’s International Convention Centre (ICC), it enjoyed a strategic relationship with the ICC, helping to make Durban a prime destination for major events.
The Hilton Durban Hotel has accommodated many local and foreign visitors, who attended conferences, exhibitions and events which Durban proudly hosts every year.
BUILDING DURBAN AS AN EVENT DESTINATION