The chairman of the Corinthia Group has deflected criticism at his six-star hotel proposal, insisting the project will lend Malta “a more sophisticated image”.
“With our global experience, we have noticed that Malta isn’t attracting a certain level of tourist,” Alfred Pisani said on TVAM. “The average rate of a five-star hotel in Malta is €160-€170 a night, whereas some hotels in Europe charge a minimum of €600-€1000 a night. This has been our experience in our hotels in the UK and other countries and our idea of a six-star hotel was born to attract this level of client to Malta.”
Pisani dismissed concerns by the Malta Developers’ Association that the price Corinthia has agreed to pay to lift a waiver that forbids residential development on the Pembroke land will distort the market.
According to him, this argument doesn’t make sense because Corinthia’s luxury service residential blocks will be twice as expensive as the apartments currently on the Maltese market, meaning they won’t be competing against the current players.
“The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association didn’t warn our project would distort the market but actually welcomed it,” he said. “I feel the MDA should have done likewise because we will bring a new level of property investor that Malta isn’t attracting right now. Just as we plan to upgrade our hotel, so too do I want to go a step up in terms of residences too.”
Pisani insisted that the economic spillover of the project will be “enormous” and that convinced future generations will be grateful that his project wasn’t stopped in its tracks.
“Throughout history, people have always feared new ideas, such as how people used to warn computers will end up taking over everyone’s jobs,” he said. “We must always accept progress. We will attract high-quality tourists, who will being a substantial volume of money to Malta and help the island acquire a sophisticated image.”