Some time ago I read a quotation that struck me: “If you always did what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” That is so true.
It is hard to walk away from the crowd especially when there exists a feeling or atmosphere of success. One is bound to ask: why change? One damaging price of success is falling in love with the false comfort of a status quo. Success must be nurtured and enhanced by evolving and reshaping of things. And things only change if and when we change them.
With this in mind, when viewing the hospitality and tourism scenario in Malta, I have often asked even publicly the question: Where is Malta going?
It is a fact that the number of tourists in Malta is regularly growing. However, the level of spending per tourist is decreasing. This reality is increasing our burden to meet the flow. We need to ask ourselves: Do we really want more for less? Or do we want less for more? The answer for me is obvious. This is a trend we need to change.
Here enters my vision of a six star Malta. I have been advocating this for many years. We need to introduce big spenders to Malta. But these would only come if we offer a particular and special type of service within a proper scenario. They are prepared to pay appreciably more if what they are offered is significantly better. Corinthia already offers this in other parts of the world, such as London and St Petersburg.
I am sure the readers would thoroughly enjoy following the BBC documentary about our Corinthia Hotel in London and the outstanding service we offer there. It is really second to none. In this regard I invite you to visit the site https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6yini7.
So you may ask, why should Corinthia be so concerned about raising standards in Malta?
Naturally, we look at our new Malta venture as an interesting commercial opportunity. But is that all? Introducing Palace Hotels or six star hotels and serviced residences would be running those extra miles to offer that exceptional service which is essentially required to attract this new class of tourists. Our service should be head and shoulders above the best we now offer in Malta. We want to be a stimulus to upgrade Malta.
Corinthia wants to be the pioneer of a six star Malta. It is never easy to be a pioneer, though we are relieved by the fact that we already offer the six star service in other countries. A pioneer is bound to meet new opposition and pitfalls. His first marks on the ground are the most demanding but they are the most rewarding.
We do appreciate that Malta has its peculiarities and particular problems. We do not operate with a sense of haughtiness. We are aware we too shall mature in the process.
But I firmly believe Corinthia enjoys the best vantage position to do this right. We have the experience and we are a very successful international Maltese company with 20,000 Maltese shareholders and bondholders. Corinthia desires to leave its indelible mark in Malta and for Malta. If Corinthia succeeds, we all succeed.
We will be investing a minimum of 300 million euro, possibly much more. Some people look at investments as a sure way to make money. In reality, they could turn out to be a sure way to lose money. Many look jealously at the profit one can make but fail to empathize when the investment turns sour. They fail to appreciate the value of risk. Corinthia is prepared to take that risk, which will ultimately benefit Malta too. Our investment is not just in a Corinthia project. It is also an investment in Malta for Malta.
This new venture will increase employment and opportunities further. We should not overlook the fact that many down the line will share the income generated in Malta at all levels. Spin-offs would include increases in income for taxis, restaurants, retail shops, manufacturers, builders, traders, hundreds of new employees, better salaries, and so on and so forth., and this is crucial, I am sure this venture will be a catalyst for others to follow. New six star services will help uplift the lives of the Maltese. But Malta too will have to move with the new times and surmount new challenges. Malta too must uplift itself. It must seam well with a projected upgrade in tourism. Malta offers some exciting venues and boasts of a vibrant history. But we must aspire higher in our journey into the future.
We need to envision Malta in the coming decades. We need to examine our infrastructure, our development and preservation of our heritage. We need to re-visit certain architectural planning and balance modern development, including high-rise. We need to further entrench protection of certain areas that should be considered untouchable. All this will have a beneficial effect on all the Maltese.
A better future belongs to those who believe in it and courageously build the foundations necessary to take the new weight. Corinthia is raring to do just this.