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10 didn't things you know about Josef Forstmayr

Published:Sunday | February 10, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Since 1996, Josef Forstmayr has been the celebrated managing director of Round Hill Hotel and Villas. Under his direction, Round Hill has won countless prestigious awards and accolades, including the World Travel Awards' Best Villas for six consecutive years, AAA's Four Diamond Award of Excellence, the Brass Key award for Most Romantic Resort, and has been featured on Condé Nast Traveler's Gold List and Travel + Leisure's World's Best List.

Prior to joining Round Hill, he served as assistant manager at Coconut Cove in Negril, later moving to the Tryall Golf and Beach Hotel as resident manager. Soon after, he was named general manager at the Trident Villas and Hotel in Port Antonio before settling in at his current post.

His recognised passion and enthusiasm for Jamaica and the Caribbean led to his appointment in April 2010 as president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA). During his tenure, he used the platform to raise awareness of the importance of tourism throughout the Caribbean, with the CHTA's 'Tourism is Key' advocacy campaign. He is also dedicated to promoting locally produced products, from beer and rum to sauces and agricultural products to support local industries.

In addition, he strives to strengthen the local flavours of the various islands, promoting Caribbean cuisine through various culinary festivals and competitions. He is working with the CHTA to promote the Caribbean as the best warm weather destination in the western hemisphere, through a targeted regional marketing campaign.

Forstmayr currently serves as a director of the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Enhancement Fund. He was president of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA) from 2001 to 2003.

He is also the honorary consul for the Republic of Austria.

In 2005, Forstmayr received the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer for his contribution to Jamaica's tourist industry. He was named Hotelier of the Year by the JHTA in 1993 and 1996, and Caribbean hotelier of the year by the Caribbean Hotel Association in 2007.

Forstmayr was born in Steyr, Austria, and is fluent in German, English and French. He attended the University of Salzburg where he studied economic sciences and tourism, and the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.

1. He loves everything about Jamaica - the good, the bad and the ugly! "It all makes us unique and exciting."

2. Hates gossip, so he never hears the bad news about himself!

3. He's a nudist who loves hanging out at totally secluded beaches and swims in the buff. "It's probably an Austrian thing, we grow up without shame."

4. He's happily addicted to Jamaican 'roadside food'. From the best curried goat on Spur Tree Hill to fab oxtail at Howie's HQ in Middle Quarters. Oh, and don't forget the roast yam and saltfish on Mount Rosser. "I know every nook and cranny which serve up the best local specialities."

5. Admires the energetic young men and women who clean windscreens, sell donuts, mangoes and the like at traffic lights. He never ignores them, always appreciates their efforts and tries to engage them. "You never know if and when you may need their help. Always carry a little change in your car to share with them."

6. Loves to drive. "Sometimes I deliberately make a detour to see some parts of Jamaica which are hidden from the main roads. Our country is so beautiful!"

7. Hates flying.

8. Loves to read biographies. Just finished Rupert Everett's Vanishing Years, which featured Jamaica.

9 Loves to trespass whenever he sees beautiful old entry gates and driveways. "I am fascinated by old Jamaican plantation houses and will walk in until someone stops me."

10. Loves and collects Jamaican intuitive art, like those from Albert Artwell and his wife, Dolores Anglin.