DURBAN - HILTON Hotel Durban management hope to be welcoming guests back to the hotel next year.
The five-star hotel, which first opened its doors in 1977, closed down in January citing Covid-19 restrictions and dwindling tourism numbers.
The hotel responded on Wednesday to questions about the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) hosting the 2021 Intra-African Trade Fair between November 15 and 21 and the International Conference on Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (Icasa) between December 6 and 11.
Premier Sihle Zikalala said the impact of these events would have a positive impact on economic recovery.
The seven-day African premier trade and investment exhibition will include conference sessions featuring key leading African and international thought leaders and experts. They will be sharing their insights on a wide range of topics relating to African trade and investments.
“The trade fair is expected to yield massive economic spin-offs for KwaZulu-Natal and the country as a whole. It will also attract high-level delegations including heads of state from the continent.
“We estimate that it will attract 10 000 buyers and sellers, 1 100 exhibitors, and will result in $40 billion in trade deals.
“The hosting of this event also augurs well for our economic recovery and reconstruction plan. The calculated economic impact of hosting the event is expected to include a total direct spend of R235 million, R580m contribution to the GDP, and an annualised employment contribution of 1 200,” Zikalala said.
The ICC will also be the hub for international researchers and academics during Icasa.
A statement from Hilton Durban read: “It is encouraging to see the activity levels in the ICC and as tourism and visitor numbers continue to grow, this gives reason for optimism about the recovery and future opportunities in Durban and KwaZulu-Natal.
“Hilton Durban is currently engaged in discussions with various stakeholders around its re-opening plans.”