Sunday, October 10, 2010

Treasure Coast Cuisine and the SMERF Tourism Market

Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks-Connors with
Scripps Treasure Coast Food Critic Diana Foote and
Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina
Sales Manager Tenille McLeod.
Well, no little blue men showed up in the studio but show hosts Robin Hicks-Connors and Gary Guertin were treated to some great SMERF information with guest Tenille McLeod, sales manager for Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina, Stuart, Florida. And Diana Foote, the restaurant reviewer and food critic for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, filled the first half-hour with food!

Speaking of food, Diana Foote talked about Florida signature foods, such as alligator tail and frog legs. Robin became a bit squeemish when Diana mentioned an establishment where the gator could be served up looking like the real thing, but the two shared an affinity for a couple of local establishments where the food and service shouldn't be missed. Dianna shed light on the diversity of culinary experiences found from Vero Beach in Indian River County to Jupiter, Florida in Northern Palm Beach County. Yes, diverse dining opportunities do make a difference. Do Treasure Coast restaurants make the grade?

Without a doubt the SMERF (social, military, educational, religious and fraternal) group markets do play and important role in our regional tourism efforts. Tenille shared what this market likes to do after their meetings, whether being within walking distance of shops, restaurants and activities is important, as well as her thoughts on whether a convention and meeting facility centrally located in Historic Downtown Stuart might help Martin County attract more SMERF’s. Gary also brought up an interesting point: boating SMERF's do exist!

The Bahamas update keyed in on next month's Bahamas Wahoo Challenge and a Bahamas Tourist Office sanctioned Grand Bahama/South Florida Fly-in slated for December 10-20, 2010 that will include "LSA’s," as well as general aviation aircraft. What's an LSA? You'll have to listen to the show or follow this LSA link to know.

As always, thanks for listening and if you missed us, pour yourself your favorite beverage and enjoy this week's episode of Talkin' Tourism.

}, 10);