The Hilton Group of Hotels has stated that it is closing the iconic 53-year-old, Hilton hotel Nairobi on December 31, and will lay off some workers, redeploy others to hotels within its portfolio, underlining a deep in sales since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic as the reason for the closure. The group stated that it will not quit Kenya totally, and will continue to operate its other brands in the country, however, Hilton hotel Nairobi which is partly owned by the government (40.57%), will close its doors for the last time on 31st December 2022 and cease operations.
The hotel added that the “Covid-19 created unprecedented challenges for our industry. However, the decision to cease operations is not directly connected to the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, the closure of the hotel will result in a retrenchment process. However, we will work with those impacted to help them find alternative employment,”
The government of Kenya has stakes in three luxury hotels, only one is still very active since the InterContinental Hotel, where the country owns a 33.83% stake via Kenya Hotel Properties Limited, closed in August 2020. The recent statement by Hilton about its closure shows the hesitation of the State to pump money into the hotels and this has angered other shareholders.
Besides the aforementioned Hotels, a number of top hotels, including Laico Regency and Radisson Blu in Nairobi’s Upper Hill, stopped operations amid the coronavirus economic fallout.