Press Release in regards new plans excluding the marina
In the face of an overwhelming outcry against the proposed Hondoq project to develop a large hotel and hundreds of real estate units around a yacht marina, the developers of Qala Creek have decided to drop the idea of the marina at Hondoq Bay, limiting themselves to a ‘swimming lagoon’.
The NGOs Moviment Harsien Hondoq, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Ramblers Association, FOE Malta, Nature Trust, GUG, Din l-art helwa and Wirt Ghawdex have studied the 2009 EIS Co-ordinated Report where the developers themselves state “the project would struggle if it had to be developed as a stand-alone hotel”. They say that the project is expected to double the 5-star room capacity in Gozo, despite the current demand for five-star hotel properties in Gozo being weak.
The developers stressed the point that increased room capacity (oversupply) is of major concern to the market, and to be successful the hotel needs to be part of an integrated project with features that differentiate it from other hotels, i.e. the marina, thus “the hotel will depend on demand generated by other parts of the project”.
Interestingly, when discussing revenue projections, the 2007 version of the report stated: “The hotel on its own is not commercially viable. It can only succeed and be sustainable if it forms part of a much larger complex which will attract interest by potential patrons to reside at the hotel. The marina development could act as such an attraction.”
In the 2009 version this was modified to: “The hotel will be successful and sustainable if it forms part of a much larger complex which will attract interest by potential patrons to reside at the hotel. The marina development could act as such an attraction.”
The wording has changed, but the meaning has not. In 2009 the developers themselves did not consider the hotel was viable without the marina, therefore the NGOs fail to understand how the developers can now eliminate the marina and claim that the complex would remain financially viable, as required by the Environment Impact Assessment.
This eleventh-hour submission of new plans shows that the developers are intent on pushing through this venture in complete disregard of the social and environmental impacts of the project, ignoring the fact that the local community and also general public opinion has expressed itself against the project.
The environmental NGOs therefore urge MEPA to refuse such a project and to revert the land to its original designation as a nature park. The Qala Local Council has already looked into the various aspects of creating an environment and heritage park, a project that would draw much-needed tourists to Gozo, and support existing hotels and catering establishments.
Finally we urge readers to let MEPA know what they think of this project by signing the petition below
Press Release dwar l-pjanti l-godda li nehhew l-jott marina
Wara l-oppożizzjoni qawwija kontra l-iżvilupp propost għal Ħondoq ir-Rummien li kien jikkonsisti f'lukanda ta' 5 stilel kif ukoll numru ta' vilel u appartamenti madwar yacht marina, l-iżviluppaturi ta' dan il-proġett qatgħuha li jerġgħu jippreżentaw pjanti ġodda li fihom ineħħu l-yacht marina u minflokha jagħmlu "swimming lagoon".
L-NGOs Moviment Ħarsien Ħondoq, Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, FOE Malta, Ramblers Association, NatureTrust, GUG, Din L-Art Ħelwa u Wirt Ghawdex studjaw ir-rapport tal-EIS tal-2009 li fih l-iżviluppaturi jiddikjaraw hekk: "the project would struggle if it had to be developed as a stand-alone hotel". Huma jgħidu wkoll li dan il-proġett kien sa jirdoppja l-kmamar fil-lukandi ta' 5 stilel, minkejja l-fatt li bħalissa d-domanda għal kmamar f'lukandi ta' dan it-tip hija dgħajfa wisq.
L-iżviluppaturi jisħqu li huwa ta' tħassib li jkollok kmamar żejda iktar mid-domanda u għalhekk biex lukanda jkollha suċċess trid tagħmel parti integrali minn proġett imdawwar bi bżonnijiet bħal yacht marina, restaurants eċċ li jagħmluha differenti minn lukandi oħra: " the hotel will depend on demand generated by other parts of the project".
Interessanti l-fatt li meta jiġi biex jiddiskuti d-dħul finanzjarju minn dal-proġett, ir-rapport tal-2007 jgħid: " The hotel on its own is not commercially viable. It can only succeed and be sustainable if it forms part of a much larger complex which will attract interest by potential patrons to reside at the hotel. The marina development could act as such an attraction".
Mill-banda l-oħra fir-rapport tat-2009 din ġiet mibdula hekk: "The hotel will be successful and sustainable if it forms part of a much larger complex which will attract interest by potential patrons to reside at the hotel. The Marina development could act as such an attraction". Minn hawn jidher ċar li l-kliem ġie mibdul iżda t-tifsira baqgħet l-istess. Fl-2009 l-iżviluppaturi nfushom ma qisux il-lukanda vijabbli mingħajr il-marina. Għalhekk l-NGOs ma tistax tgħaddilhom minn moħħhom kif issa l-iżviluppaturi sa jeliminaw il-marina u xorta jsostnu li l-kumpless jibqa' sostenibbli finanzjarjament kif miktub fl-Environment Impact Assessment. Il-ħruġ ta' pjanti ġodda juri biċ-ċar li l-iżviluppaturi għandhom f'moħħhom li jkomplu jagħfsu fuq dan ir-riskju kummerċjali mingħajr ma jagħtu kas tal-impatt soċjali li se jħalli dan il-proġett, minkejja l-fatt li kemm il-kommunita tal-Qala kif ukoll il-pubbliku in ġenerali wrew bil-qawwa kollha li huma kontra dan il-proġett.
Għaldaqstant l-NGOs ambjentalisti jitolbu lill-MEPA biex tirrifjuta dan il-proġett u treġġgħu lura għall-pjan oriġinali ta' 'nature park'. Il-Kunsill Lokali tal-Qala diġa ra l-aspetti kollha kif għandu jkun park naturali. Dan il-proġett għandu jiġbed lejh dawk it-turisti li tant għandu bżonn Għawdex. B'hekk ikun ta' għajnuna għal-lukandi u għall-istabilimenti ta' l-ikel.
Fl-ahharnett inheggu lill-qarrejja sabiex juru lill-MEPA x`jahsbu dwar dan il-projett billi jidhlu f`dan is-sit elettroniku