Wed | Sep 28, 2016

Jamaica's first director of tourism

Published:Thursday | November 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM
John Pringle

The forefather of Jamaica's hospitality-and-tourism sector, John Pringle made a significant contribution to the industry's growth, development and success. Born in St Ann, he gained prominence as the founder and chairman of the innovative resort Round Hill. Located in Montego Bay, St James, the resort aimed to provide quality, deluxe cottages for visitors who frequently travelled to Jamaica and desired to stay for an extended period of time.

He facilitated this by inviting interested wealthy moguls to invest in the creation and construction of their cottages. Pringle, along with his team, built these cottages, providing a second home for his investors, paying specific attention to the investors' unique design plans and styles. When cottage investors were off the island, he made his business rewarding, renting available cottages to other visitors in their entirety or in sections as suites.

Pringle's notable involvement in the tourism industry advanced to his becoming the first director of tourism in Jamaica, his period in office spanning from 1963 to 1967. He utilised advertising in the enhancement of the tourism industry, expanding both industries. His dynamic role in marketing the tourism sector resulted in the attraction of several widely acclaimed international investors, capitalising on the natural greenery and scenery of the land. The first shopping mall in Jamaica dedicated to tourists, Pineapple Place, Tryall and Rose Hall are just a few of his many achievements as director. Later, he was chairman of JAMCO, and applied the same developmental approach to the banana industry. Being the first to create and establish the concept of cottages in Jamaica, which other hoteliers have aimed to emulate, makes Pringle a pioneer.