Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has expressed deep regret at the passing of the prominent Austria-born hotelier, Heinz Simonitsch, who is credited for his development of Half Moon resort in Montego Bay, St James.
“Heinz Simonitsch was a stalwart and one of the most outstanding tourism administrators, planners, and missionaries of the Caribbean. I offer my condolences to the Simonitsch family, and also extend my sympathies to his wife Elizabeth and his three children, on behalf of the Government of Jamaica,” said Minister Bartlett.
Simonitsch became the managing director of Half Moon Golf, Tennis and Beach Club in 1965, and continued in this role until his retirement in 2002. After retirement, he spent time between Jamaica and Austria, where he owned the Grandhotel Lienz, which opened in April 2009.
His contribution to the tourism industry did not go unnoticed over the years, as he was the recipient of a number of prominent awards and honours. He is a former recipient of the CHTA Caribbean Hotelier of the Year Award as well as their Icon of Hospitality Award.
Another noteworthy accolade was the Honorary Order of Distinction, Commander Class which was conferred by the Jamaican Government, for his outstanding contribution to tourism in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
“Mr Simonitsch was a brilliant businessman and ambassador for regional and international tourism. His passion for tourism is truly unmatched and our industry will not be the same without him. May his soul be at peace with our Heavenly Father,” said Minister Bartlett.