He was answering questions put to him by MaltaToday after the official opening of the new ITS campus in Luqa, which was also attended by Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation.
Mizzi said the government was still on talks with Dubai Holdings on the transfer of land.
“Our plans are very much on schedule and ITS will be moving to its SmartCity campus and four-star hotel in fours years or so,” he said.
When questioned, Mizzi insisted that all work carried out in the past nine months to get the new ITS campus ready had been done with all necessary permits in place. He explained that most of the work, being a matter of renovation, needed only a change of use application. "But all other work carried out was done with all necessary permits in hand."
After touring the campus with Pololikashvili and other stakeholders, Mizzi said ITS had a crucial role to play in the government’s vision of making Malta the best tourist destination around the Mediterranean.
“Our vision is now to upscale and to spread solid tourist arrivals across more months of the year,” he said.
Around 1,000 students are attending ITS this scholastic year, including 600 full-time students. 260 foreign students are attending the institute.
PololikashvilIi said that institutes like ITS were helping to create quality jobs and were in high demand across the Mediterranean.
“Our organisation is willing to assist Malta with programmes and tools to help it make ITS the learning institute of choice, as well as referring teachers and students to come here,” he said.
ITS CEO Pierre Fenech praised the work of all parties involved in making sure the new campus was operational in time for this new scholastic year.
“This campus was designed with input from the staff, besides experts,” he said. “This far, the majority of feedback from staff and students has been highly positive.”