The temporary campus of the Institute of Tourism Studies in Luqa was inaugurated by Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi on Thursday, officially completing the move away from St George’s Bay, where it will be replaced by the db group's City Centre mega-development.

Dr Mizzi toured the campus at the former Air Malta offices accompanied by the  secretary-general of the UN World Tourism Organisation Zurab Pololikashvili.

He hailed the move as an opportunity for the ITS to grow its operations and contribute to bettering Malta’s tourism product. The minister reiterated that plans were still in place for the ITS to move to Smart City in a few years' time. 

The temporary campus is intended to cater for 1,000 students.

This campus will allow us to grow over the next three to four years- Konrad Mizzi

Conversion works on the office buildings began early this year without a planning permit, which permit was only issued on September 18, two months after ITS announced that it had moved into the new campus in July.

Asked about the permit situation, Dr Mizzi said the offices used by ITS staff since July were already covered by a permit and that permission for the school use had been given before the students moved in.

The new campus brings together the operations of the former main campus in St George’s Bay and the Martin Luther King campus in Pembroke. It includes a larger number of classrooms and kitchens, as well as training restaurants and offices.

Dr Mizzi said ITS had this year welcomed 1,000 students, of whom 630 were full-time, as well as 260 international students, up from 110 last year. Their fees, he said, were funding programmes for Maltese students.

“This campus will allow us to grow over the next three to four years. Through this institute we will be able to supply professionals who will take pride in their work and allow us to upgrade our tourism product,” he said.