A representative for the global luxury resort brand that will operate the planned hotel on Comino is confident they will manage to win NGOs over.

“Every time we come into a location, there are local NGOs everywhere who are really worried about us ruining the island or the community, taking it, being greedy or coming for purely economic gains,” said Vitalija Katine, technical services manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Six Senses.

“But, through time, we’ve not only managed to convince them, but they’ve managed to engage and support us,” Katine told Times of Malta at the opening of an exhibition of the project’s plans in Valletta.

“The only thing we can say is please learn about how we do this in other locations,” she said, adding that information about the company’s support for local initiatives was publicly available.

A number of NGOs are vehemently opposed to the plans by Hili Ventures to open a new resort on the protected island in place of the abandoned hotel and tourist bungalows, questioning the company’s claim of environmental sustainability.

We’ve worked with untouched and uninhabited islands before, we know how we can come onto the island and not take anything away... and ensure that we bring more

In a presentation on Friday, Katine said Six Senses was experienced in operating hotels in areas like Comino and employed a marine engineer for each of its island resorts. 

“We know islands very well. We’ve worked with untouched and uninhabited islands before, we know how we can come onto the island and not take anything away... and ensure that we bring more and we enhance the local community, flora and fauna,” she told attendees.

NGOs contend that the currently tranquil area will be transformed into an elite village with year-round occupancy.

At the time of writing, the price of a room at the brand’s Ibiza resort ranges from €1,470 to €2,454 per night in July. The company operates other island sites in countries including Vietnam, Fiji, Cambodia, the Maldives, Thailand and the Seychelles.

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