Hotelier Heinz Simonitsch, a pioneer of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean, has died. He was 93.
Simonitsch spent 39 years at Half Moon in Jamaica as general manager and then as managing director.
Austrian-born Simonitsch moved to Jamaica in 1963 where he expanded Half Moon into a 400-acre resort. He retired in 2002.
On the sustainable-tourism front, he developed environmental protection measures for Caribbean hoteliers and is credited with positioning the pairing of luxury resorts with environmental sustainability. He also established the Heinz Simonitsch School in St. James, Jamaica, to empower youth in sustainable methods of hospitality and tourism development.
He was a former Caribbean Hotelier of the Year, a past president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, co-founder of the SOS Children's Villages in Montego Bay and Kingston, helped to set up the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism and was the first recipient of CHTA's Icon of Hospitality honor for his contributions to the tourism sector.