Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Small island(s), big time fun: Welcome to The Bimini's!

Talkin’ Tourism will be ending 2011 and beginning 2012 on a high note as we broadcast live from South Bimini, Bahamas this Friday morning. Bimini Sands Resort and Marina located on South Bimini is hosting the Talkin’ Tourism Team for their great New Year’s Eve Weekend celebration. While Bimini (made up of two islands North and South Bimini) is one of the smaller islands of the Bahamas, it makes up in spirit what it may lack in size. The closest Bahama island to the U.S. mainland, Bimini will be celebrating the arrival of the new year in style. Fireworks displays, Junkanoo rushout, parties galore, and just a plain ol’ good island time will be enjoyed by all. Celebrating the close tourism relationship between the Islands of the Bahamas and Florida could not be a more fitting way to usher out the old year and welcome in the new.

In addition to showcasing all the amenities Bimini Sands Resort and Marina has to offer its guests, show hosts Robin Hicks-Connors and Gary Guertin will be welcoming representatives from the Bimini Tourism Office, and other key notables from the island. From the mysterious Bimini Roads, to the legendary Ernest Hemingway legacy, Fountain of Youth, and the rum running era, to fabulous fishing and diving, we will entice you to make your plans for a Bimini get-away real soon.

So let Talkin’ Tourism take you on a Bahamas island get-away this Friday morning. Join us as we come to you live from Bimini Sands Resort and Marina, South Bimini, Bahamas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Boat Shows, marine tourism, and community waterfront festivals

Jim Dragseth, Tom Kilcourse, April Price, John
Hennessee and Robin Hicks-Connors
talkin' tourism on the docks at Sailfish Marina.
Guests Tom Kilcourse and Jim Dragseth did an outstanding job describing the importance of the approaching 38th annual Stuart Boat Show to the tourism industry in Martin County and the Treasure Coast.  One of the longest running events in the area, the Stuart Boat Show certifiably attracts visitors from near and far putting 'heads in beds'. This land and 'sea' display show is considered one of the best and has been described as the Goldilocks of boat shows:  not too big, not too small, just right.

One attribute shared by Jim Dragseth as to why the marine industries, and events such as the Stuart Boat Show, are such a vital part of our area’s economy is because Stuart is blessed with such great waterways.  Boat Show Committee Chairman Tom Kilcourse described the activities and the exhibitors who will help make the show a great family affair.  This is definitely one event to put on your January “to do list”.

John Hennessee, the chairman of the Port Salerno Neighborhood  Advisory Committee, and April Price, events coordinator for the Port Salerno Seafood Festival, dropped by the studio to give listeners a sneak peak of what is in store for this year’s festival, which takes place on January 28th.  Celebrating six years, this event draws over 30,000 attendees to the working waterfront town of Port Salerno.  More to come on the Seafood Festival in the coming weeks.

Here's one of the boys---Jim Dragseth, Gary Guertin
and Tom Kilcourse.
The Bimini Islands are THE place to be this New Year’s Eve. Talkin' Tourism hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors reviewed the great happenings scheduled on both North and South Bimini this coming New Year's weekend and if you listened to the show, you’ll agree that there is definitely a party going on.  Talkin’ Tourism will be broadcasting live from Bimini Sands Resort and Marina on Friday morning. If you can't join us on island for all the fun, then definitely tune in Friday morning to learn more about Bimini and why this is destination is one you shouldn't miss.

Here's last week show for those of you who might of missed it or for those who want to listen in again.

See you Friday from Bimini!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Boat shows and a big New Year's celebration on a tiny island

In just three weeks, the 38th Annual Stuart Boat Show will be attracting boaters, marine enthusiasts and exhibitors from across Florida and beyond to the Treasure Coast. Billed by producer AllSports Productions as the largest boat show between Annapolis, Maryland and West Palm Beach. The Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast (MIATC) owned show is a perennial crowd pleaser offering something for everyone.

This week, Tom Kilcourse of Merritt Supply and Stuart Boat Show Committee Chairman, along with Jim Dragseth, the president of legendary Whiticar Boat Works and MIATC board member, will be in the studio to share with listeners all of the exciting details (over 500 boats and $100 million in products on display) of the show. Rumor has it there will be vintage boats on display, a simulated fishing tournament for the kids, and a whole lot more.

What will be the hottest Bahama Island to be on this New Year’s Eve?  It may be closer than you think and there is still time to make plans to join the fun. We'll have all the details for you!

It is hard to believe that we are closing out another year of Talkin’ Tourism.  The journey has been fantastic and we thank all of our listeners and sponsors for their support. From our remote broadcasts from the Bahamas, locations around the Treasure Coast and our home studio at Sailfish Marina, we continue to explore how important tourism is to our economy and quality of life.  Thank you for the opportunity to share our passion.

From the Talkin’ Tourism team, we wish you Happy Holidays and a healthy and Happy New Year!

Sailfish Splash, a passport tip and "an island in the stream"

Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks-Connors with
Craig Anderson on the docks of Sailfish Marina.
According to Martin County Parks and Recreation Coordinator Craig Anderson, both locals and visitors will soon be splishing and splashing in Martin County’s newest water-themed attraction.

Sailfish Splash Waterpark, set to open mid-March, will serve both the recreational aquatics and competitive swimming markets. So, what amenities will make up the recreational side of the attraction?  Craig was pretty excited about the four-story tall water slide and a few other cool and innovative water features. On the sports tourism side of things Craig has very high expectations of competitive swim teams coming to Martin County to take advantage of the state of the art facility. Should County government be in the business of running a business?  Craig had some pretty interesting things to say. Season passes to Splash Water Park are now on sale and could be a great holiday stocking stuffer!

Following the water park banter, Robin and Gary listed some of the do’s and don’ts for visitors (and locals) in Martin County?

Craig Anderson and Talkin' Touism host Gary Guertin.
Next, a little passport talk. Is your's ready to expire? Robin shared an interesting experience that occurred to a friend of her's who traveled to Costa Rica. If you heard the story, bet you checked on the expiration date of your passport!  If you missed the show, and want to know why this is important, we've got you covered! You can download the  it here.

And, how is the St. Lucie County Tourism Development Council working with Westwood High School in Ft. Pierce?  If you missed this week's show, we've got you covered! You can download the December 16 show here.

As always, Talkin' Tourism covered a lot of ground in one hour, including the latest standings in local sailfish tournaments and where the Talkin' Tourism crew will be broadcasting on the eve of New Year's Eve! Hint—azure water, beautiful beaches, friendly people, lots of fun and a great fireworks extravaganza on an tiny island in 'the stream!'

See you on Friday, and please remember to thank a visitor for helping to keep the Treasure Coast green!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Soon to come to Martin County, FL: A BIG splash!

For a relatively small destination, Martin County, Florida has a multitude of nature based attractions. In just a few short weeks, an attraction that civic and community leaders hope will be a unique tourism magnet and great asset to the community that is not quite “natural” will open for business. The attraction—Sailfish Splash Waterpark—will cater to the aquatic pleasure of both locals and visitors.

It would be somewhat of an understatement to say this project was not without some controversy in this time of economic challenge. Nevertheless, the Martin County Parks and Recreation Department has embraced this project and is moving forward with very exciting plans. In addition to general aquatic recreation, the Sailfish Splash Waterpark will also serve as a competitive swimming and diving venue. Vision for the complex include attracting teams to from around the state and across the U.S. This could be a big boost for sports tourism in the area. 

To help put the project in better perspective, joining show hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors this week is Craig Anderson, Martin County Parks and Recreation department's newly hired marketing coordinator. Craig will bring our listeners up to speed on this multi-million dollar investment and discuss how the complex will help enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. 

Besides Sailfish Splash Waterpark, a rundown of the official results from the recent sailfish tournaments, will be included, as well as information on the the next leg of the series. St. Lucie County tourism updates are also on the list, several tips on things to remember when visiting Martin County, and Gary and Robin just might reveal what international destination will be hosting the Talkin' Tourism show and crew the Friday before New Year's. After hearing the details, you just might want to book reservations too and join the crew for New Year's celebration you'll always remember.

The show will be back at its home studio overlooking the Manatee Pocket at Sailfish Marina. See you on the docks! The fun begins at 10:05 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or streaming live over the Internet at

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

World-Class Marine Anchorage Attracts Artists and Boaters from Around the Globe

The beautiful venue of Sunset Bay Marina & Anchorage: a
destination attracting boaters from around the globe.
The broadcast from Sunset Bay Marina & Anchorage was a perfect way to acknowledge the importance of our valued seasonal boaters who frequent the Treasure Coast. Harbormaster Buzz Billue set the stage early in the show by sharing Stuart's early maritime history when it served the marine trades and supply lines and eventually becoming a recreational boating destination. Sunset Bay Marina’s transition from an anchorage to a first-class marina is a welcomed evolution. 

In addition to Buzz, also sharing the spotlight were several valued seasonal boaters, including Ken Trepagnier and Dick Harding, who shared how they discovered Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Despite coming from different backgrounds, they both share a passion and love for the Treasure Coast. 

Ken Trepagnier, Nancy Turrel, Judy "JP" Nichols,
and Dick Harding combined the topics of marine tourism
and marine art for this week's episode of Talkin' Tourism.
Rusty Hightower, with Massey Yacht Sales and Service, also had high praise for the marina and Stuart area. The point was very well made that marine tourism is a very important part of the area’s tourism product. Pulling it all together, John Smith, representing the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast (MIATC), explained how the organization works to keep the marine industry strong and vibrant.

Marinas and art do go hand-in-hand as pointed out by Nancy Turrell and Judy “JP” Nichols. Waterfront Wednesdays at Sunset Bay Marina, organized by the Arts Council of Martin County, is attracting marine artists from as far away as the Abaco’s (David Albury the famed model boat builder) to this great waterfront community event. Marine tourism? You better believe it! With as many slips as there are hotel rooms in Martin County, marine tourism is certainly a tourism component to acknowledge and to continue to promote. 

Here's the audio file to the December 9 episode of Talkin' Tourism to bring you up to speed on marine tourism, waterfront art events, and a whole lot more!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Treasure Coast: A Boating Mecca

Sunset Bay Marina & Anchorage, Stuart, FL
PHOTO CREDIT: Sailblogs/svearendil
A drive around the Treasure Coast waterfront will attest to the fact that our valued seasonal boaters have returned en mass for another season. With so many miles of shoreline along the North and South Fork of the St. Lucie River, the wide Indian River Lagoon stretching the length of the Treasure Coast, and the Okeechobee Waterway/Cross Florida Canal connecting Florida’s West Coast to the East Coast, it is no wonder the Treasure Coast is a boating mecca.

This week we will broadcast live from Sunset Bay Marina and Anchorage in Stuart, Florida. Featured in this week’s show will be Buzz Billue, the Sunset Bay Marina harbour master, who has a legendary history along the Treasure Coast waterfront, as well as John Smith, the president of the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast (MIATC). Among the topics discussed will be the importance of marine tourism to the Treasure Coast, how can we continue to enhance our region as a boating destination, and the importance of the Islands of the Bahamas as a destination for many Treasure Coast boaters.

What does art have to do with marine tourism? Well, Judy “JP” Nichols, waterfront coordinator for the Arts Council of Martin County, along with the Council's executive director Nancy Turrell, will be in the studio to promote the Arts Council’s newest art celebration, Waterfront Wednesdays at Sunset Bay Marina. In addition to our main topics, we will also update listeners on the sailfish tournament season, what recent tournament set another record, what’s new in the Bahamas and around the Treasure Coast, and more.

See you on the docks Friday morning at 10:05! You can catch the show on your radio at WPSL 1590 AM or from your computer at Can you smell the salt air already?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Made New Year's plans yet? If not, check out this Bimini fireworks extravaganza.

Talkin' Tourism show hosts Gary and Robin touched upon Bimini Sands Resort & Marina on last week's show and mentioned the resort's annual New Year's Eve pyrotechnics show, plus the great winter all-inclusive vacation package,which covers everything from luxury villa accommodations, a free slip for boat owners, on site resort activities, all meals, and even adult libations. AND, there are no blackout dates, even over the holidays.

Here's a link for more information. If you decide to book, tell them Talkin' Tourism sent you!

Bimini Sands Resort & Marina 4th Annual New Year's Eve Fireworks Extravaganza.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday travel, sailfish bites, and Florida's top destinations for Christmas travel

Show host Gary Guertin with
AAA Auto Club South  travel
representative Gary Smith.
The studio was jumping with activity Friday morning. Upon arrival, show host and co-producer Gary Guertin discovered the “committee boat” (the radio location where tournament sailfish catches are recorded )  for the Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic was three feet from the broadcast desk as the first day of fishing was underway—surprise! Unlike the slow bite experienced the week before during the Finest Kind Quickie tournament, indications before showtime (with 30 releases since 8 a.m.) was the sailfish bite had picked up considerably. One hour later, just as Talkin' Tourism was wrapping up, the total had grown to 46! Thanks for the mid-show on-air update Committee Boat Capt. Beth.

Moving to the main topic, special guest Gary Smith, a travel representative with AAA Auto Club South, jumped in providing lots of great holiday travel information. There is no doubt that despite the tough economy, millions of people will be taking to the highways, byways and skyways during the holiday season. 

First up was the importance of driver safety and the Tow to Go Program, which is a  partnership between AAA and Budweiser. This program has definitely made an impact on driver and roadway safety. Gary Smith also educated show hosts and guest on the current complexity of air travel, baggage fees challenges, cruise opportunities, great places to visit in Florida during the holidays, and a whole lot more. 

Other sidebars included: (1) the top three wishes of holiday travelers; (2) what inconveniences travelers will endure to save money; and, (3) what Florida cities were in HomeAway's top five (of ten) list for Christmas travel (and guess what, co-host Robin Hicks-Connors has seen them all!).

Hope you enjoyed another informative and entertaining edition of Talkin' Tourism. If you missed the show, no worries! You can listen to or download the December 2 Talkin' Tourism show here.

See you next Friday!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Travel wise--It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

With the holidays here, the topic on a lot of peoples minds is certainly holiday travel. By land, sea or air, people will be heading off to see family and friends or to take a great holiday vacation. Millions around the world will become tourists, at least for a little while.

To explore holiday travel in more detail, this week  AAA Auto Club South Travel Specialist Gary Smith will join us in the studio. What will we cover? For starters here are a few topics---How far on average will people be traveling by car? Will the price of gas have an impact on the number of people traveling this year? What about airline prices? 

With so many people traveling by car, Gary Smith will also discuss AAA Auto Club South’s Driver Safety Program. The Treasure Coast certainly attracts its share of holiday visitors. What activities and events are in store for visitors planning to spend time on the Treasure Coast? This should be an information packed show for those planning to hit the road this holiday season and even for those choosing to stay closer to home.

With the sailfish tournament season underway, Talkin’ Tourism is following the results of this Treasure Coast tradition. With the Finest Kind Quickie now in the history books, the Treasure Coast Championship Series is gearing up for kick-off. Do you know what winning boat has ties to the Bahamas Billfish Championship? Listen in today and you will learn all about those amazing Flahama connections.

See you later this morning (Friday, December 2) at 10:05 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or streaming live at

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stuart, Florida—Small town, big fun!

Patty O-Connell, Rachel Snyder and Thondra Lanese
painted the holiday flavor of Downtown Stuart.
Talkin’ Tourism’s hometown of Stuart, Florida was well represented by three outstanding guests this week. With the focus on small town destination tourism and the upcoming holidays, Talkin’ Tourism listeners became very well versed about all the attributes that make Stuart, Florida a model of downtown revitalization success.

Thondra Lanese, project manager for the City of Stuart Community Redevelopment Agency, provided historical background on the Florida Main Street Program, which has been instrumental in Historic Downtown Stuart’s revitalization success. Initiated 23 years ago, the process is still moving forward with great vision. Thondra also noted how this effort has help grow the tourism industry in the community. 

A downtown would not be successful without a group of dedicated merchants. President of the Downtown Business Association, Patty O’Connell, shared how the merchants, along with the Stuart Main Street members, are collaboratively working toward common goals. She was especially proud of the recent article  in Coastal Living Magazine showcasing Stuart a national audience. 

Activities abound in Stuart, especially during the holiday season. Stuart Main Street board member Rachael Snyder ran down all the special holiday events on the calendar, including holiday boat parades, tree lighting festivities, music events and more.

Whether a resident or visitor to the City of Stuart, this episode shared a lot of great information about this thriving waterfront town. Here's the audio file from this (November 25) episode of Talkin' Tourism.

Thanks for listening and special thanks to the Stuart Coffee Company for allowing us to broadcast live from their great new shop.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Let the Shopping Begin! Black Friday from Downtown Stuart

Today Talkin’ Tourism is broadcasting live from downtown Stuart, Florida. This small waterfront community has seen a lot of changes over the last two decades. What was once a downtown that had essentially been deserted with the arrival of a regional mall, is now a vibrant, exciting and lively hub of energy for both residents and visitors alike. It is often said that the quality of life of a community’s residents benefit from a commitment to tourism promotion as a part of their overall economic development. This transformation came through the tireless efforts of many individuals who had a vision of what could happen through a shared vision. Talkin’ Tourism has invited several guests who are in leadership positions with organizations that are making things happen.

To showcase the role of municipal government, Thondra Lanese, a project manager with the City of Stuart Community Redevelopment Agency, will be in the studio. Thondra wears numerous hats in her role to keep the City on the forefront of community redevelopment. Also joining us will be Patty O’Connell, president of the Downtown Business Association; and Rachael Snyder, a board member of the Stuart Main Street Program. The holiday season is here and the group will share with listeners all the exciting events and activities that make downtown Stuart, Florida a fantastic small town destination, and especially one during the holidays.

Join us at 10:05 a.m., ( or WPSL 1590 AM) broadcasting live in downtown Stuart from the Stuart Coffee Company!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sailfish Tournament Season is HERE!

Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks-Connors with the
Treasure Coast fishing experts, Marty Romstadt,
Ed Killer, Capt. Jim Nester, and Capt. Andy Kubiak.
It’s not hard to realize that sailfish tournament season is right around the corner on the Treasure Coast. Dock talk is all about "the bite” and seasoned captains, anglers and mates are heading offshore in increasing numbers to pursue this elusive billfish. It was great to have the Treasure Coast's resident fishing guru, Ed Killer, back behind the microphone. Ed gave a perfect recap of how sportfishing led to the birth of the Treasure Coast's tourism industry. What's even more interesting is why years ago visitors asked commercial fishermen to take them fishing. The answer certainly surprised Talkin' Tourism hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors.

In addition to Ed, representatives from three of the area's major sailfish tournaments carried on the fish talk. First, Marty Romstadt, tournament director of the Finest Kind's annual Sailfish Tournament, The Quickie, gave details on this tournament and how it has grown over the last 10 years. This tournament in a sense is a “tournament within a tournament." What the heck does that mean, you ask? Can you say "Calcutta"? If your curiosity is piqued (or you like Calcutta's) and you missed Friday's show, you can check out all the details by listening to Talkin' Tourism's annual salute to Sailfish Tournament (November 18) show here.

The next tournament in the Treasure Coast sailfish line-up is the Pirate's Cove Sailfish Classic. Celebrating its 24th year, the “Classic” has earned its place among world class sailfish events. Capt. Jim Nester, the Pirates Cove dock master, shared with us why the Classic is classic. 

Next, heading into its 58th year, veteran Capt. Andy Kubiak led the discussion on the the Stuart Sailfish Club’s Annual Light Tackle Tournament. After 58 years, keeping any tournament "fresh" can be a challenge. Not so with the Stuart Sailfish Club! This year they have some great events planned, many that are open to the public. Want to enjoy some tasty chowder? There’s a night for that. Want to attend a luau? Well, there is a night for that too!

Bests of luck to all of the captain’s, anglers and mates who will be competing in this year’s tournaments, and thanks for keeping the sportfishing tradition alive and well on the Treasure Coast. 

See you on the docks!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's sailfish tournament time on the Treasure Coast!

For decades, Stuart, Florida has been known as the Sailfish Capital of the World. As a matter of fact, the early days of tourism promotion in the Stuart, Martin County Florida area revolved around the annual cycle of masses of sailfish that moved through the region from November through February. This tradition continues today. For the next three months, world class captains, anglers and mates will be competing for honor, glory and bragging rights as the sailfish tournament season gets underway along the Treasure Coast. This Friday we will bring you insight into the regional sailfish tournament scene and how the majestic sailfish has molded our region into a major sportfishing destination and tourism generator.

Talkin’ Tourism
resident fishing and boating guru, Ed Killer will be with us at Sailfish Marina on the Manatee Pocket to provide historical perspective on the tournament scene and to share his perspective on this year’s round of tournaments.

The first local tournament, the Finest Kind Quickie will be represented by Krista Chasmar. The youngest tournament in the trio, the "Quickie" has rapidly gained the reputation of being a great event. Next is the Pirate’s Cove Sailfish Classsic, the first tournament in the Treasure Coast Sailfish Championship Series. The Stuart Sailfish Club’s 58th Annual Light Tackle Tournament, one of the country’s oldest, will be represented by Tournament Committee co-chair Char Griggs. The Stuart Sailfish Club is credited with being the first tourism promotion group on the Treasure Coast.
So Talkin’ Tourism fans and fishing fanatics, settle into your fighting chairs (or lounge chairs), drop the outriggers and troll for an informative and fun show. Let’s go fishing!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The plane, the plane! No, it's not Fantasy Island. It's the Stuart Airshow!

Stuart Air Show Military Acts Coordinator Dennis Crow
with Talkin' Tourism hosts Gary Guertin & Robin Hicks-Conners.
With one of the most popular events on the Treasure Coast hours away from opening, Talkin’ Tourism was right in the thick of the excitement of the Stuart Air Show pre-opening activities. While pre-show flight briefings kept pilots from appearing on the show as hoped, our guests did a great job of sharing some of the highlights and behind the scenes information with our listeners.

General aviation is a big part of the tourism scene. David Smith, general manager of Galaxy Aviation and our host for the show, provided some great insights as to the importance of this market niche. If you are not sure about what types of concierge services a fixed based operation (FBO) provides its customers, you will have a much better idea after you listen to the show. First class all the way!

Next up on the guest panel was George Stokus, airport manager for Martin County’s Witham Field. Relatively new to the post, George’s expertise is second to none. Coordinating all of the regulatory agencies that are involved in producing an air show is no small task. If you ever wondered what an airport manager does, this episode of Talkin' Tourism helped answer that question.

Getting to the key topic of the day was Dennis Crow. While officially the military acts coordinator, Dennis has been with the air show for 10 years and was a wealth of information. Putting on a multiple-day event of this magnitude requires a tremendous amount of coordination and Talkin' Tourism's show host Gary Guertin and Talkin' Tourism co-producer Misti Guertin actually enjoyed experiencing some of that at the Friday night pre-show event—The Dirty Flight Suit Party. Aerobatics, fireworks, music (the Amber Leigh Band), food, fun, excitement and lots of spectators sums it up!

The Stuart Air Show is now in the history books for another year. Congratulations to everyone who contributed to its success. Job well done!

Here's the audio file for this week's Talkin' Tourism Stuart Airshow episode and below are few video clips from Friday night's Dirty Flight Suit Party:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Annual Salute to Pineapples, Rum and Sister City Connections

Max Leary, Robin Hicks-Connors, Christopher Cook (back),
Susan Culmer, Gary Guertin (back), Jody Clifford and
Kingley Bethel "backstage" after the live radio show.
Returning to a broadcast venue after a year has passed means a lot of catching up, and that is exactly what Talkin’ Tourism’s Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors did this show. Jody Clifford, Maritime and Classic Boat Museum’s executive director, brought listeners and the Talkin' Tourism team, up to speed on new activities, programs and member events, along with the scheduled exhibits visitors will find.

Moving along to the 3rd Annual Rum Runner Party, committee member and museum social media guru Christopher Cooke let us in on some of the fun, music, food and libations attendees will be treated to at this rum-inspired event planned on November 18 at The Mansion at Tuckahoe. It sounds like a party fit for the real Bill McCoy. This annual event is the museum's key fundraiser. Expect an array of extraordinary live auction items to be auctioned off by legendary auctioneer Karlin Daniels. What’s on the auction block? A stay in a private home in Hope Town on Elbow Cay, Abaco, as well as a vacation in a 17 million dollar private residence in Hawaii No skimping on these auction packages! For the right price, they could be your's.

With the kick-off of the Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival, Talkin’ Tourism was very grateful to welcome back several members of the Eleuthera/Jensen Beach Travel Club, who stopped by to say hello. Every year, the Jensen Beach, Florida/Gregory Town, Eleuthera Sister City relationship is celebrated. This brings a flock of Eleutherans to Jensen Beach to celebrate and provide “our” Pineapple Festival with an authentic touch of the “real Bahamas." As usual, past show guests Max Leary, Kingsley Bethel and Susan Culmer shared their enthusiasm for the Treasure Coast and why they like to return year after year. It's time for Treasure Coast adventurers to gather together and plan a trip to Eleuthera in June to visit the Bahama's side festival in June. Anyone ready?

So listeners and fans, pour yourself a rum libation, then sit back and enjoy your own personal episode of our annual salute to pineapples, rum and sister city connections!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rum and Pineapples

It's been a while since we last broadcast a show from the Maritime and Classic Boat Museum located in Indian Riverside Park in Jensen Beach, Florida and this week that's where we will be broadcasting from!

In addition to showcasing one of the area’s best nautical museums, we'll be covering a great annual event they have in store for locals and visitors alike—the 3rd Annual Real McCoy Rum Runner Party! Based upon early  history, the theme is certainly fitting as the Treasure Coast area played a significant role in the ol’ rum running days. Museum executive director Jody Clifford will be on hand along with other museum leaders to share the good times that are being planned for attendee’s. 

Also, this weekend is a big weekend for a Sister City celebration. The Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival, the largest festival on the Treasure Coast, kicks off this weekend. For over 20 years, Jensen Beach, Florida and Gregory Town, Eleuthera have celebrated their kinship as former major producers of pineapples, the international symbol of hospitality.Via the coconut telegraph, we hear that another strong contingent of Eleutherans are in town and will make a guest appearance on the show. It was a rockin’ show last year so we expect more of the same once again!

See you Friday morning at 10:05 am on WPSL 1590 AM or streaming live at for this week’s broadcast of Talkin’ Tourism.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All hands on deck for The Bahamas!

Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin, MOB manager Shamine Johnson
Port Lucaya Marina manager Karen Pinder, Ft. Lauderdale
Bahamas Tourist Office general manager Earl Millier,
Out Island Promotion Board president Shamine Johnson,
Out Islands Promotion Board senior director of marketing
Valery Brown-Alce, and consultant to the Bimini Big Game Club/
Guy Harvey Outpost Resort Chris Pollock.
There can be no doubt after broadcasting LIVE from the 52nd Annual Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show that marine tourism is alive and well. As has been the mantra since the show went on the air, the fact that the Islands of the Bahamas are so close to South Florida and the Treasure Coast that what happens on one side of the Gulf Stream impacts marine tourism on the other side. 

Here are a few boat show facts that illustrate the impact and size of this show:  (1) there were are total of 1,800 boats on display; (2) the total value of boats and accessories on display was 3 billion dollars; (3) estimated attendance was projected at 150,000. Yes, marine tourism and boating are BIG business and The Islands of the Bahamas, with over 100,000 square miles pristine boating waters are hoping to capitalize on this segment of the tourism industry. 

Jeanne Gibson from the Bahamas Tourism Office
capturing the show on film!

It was our pleasure to have a number of the key players in the Bahamas tourism industry on the show. All are leaders in the promotion of the vertical markets of fishing, boating diving and outdoor pursuits. Sitting in as guest co-host was Earl Miller, the general manager of the Ft. Lauderdale Bahamas Tourist Office. A veteran of the marine tourism industry, Earl shared his thoughts on how the Bahamas is focused on enhancing the boater experience. Also, providing great insights as to why you should visit the Out Islands were Valery Brown-Alce, a senior director of marketing for the Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board, and Chavonne Darville, the president of the Out Island Promotion Board. Shamine Johnson, manager of the Marina Operators of the Bahamas (MOB), explained how the private sector is doing their part to assist the Ministry in this effort. 

Representing individual properties were Chris Pollock, consultant to the Bimini Big Game Club/Guy Harvey Outpost Resort and Karen Pinder, manager of Grand Bahama's Port Lucaya Marina

And, as a side note, one Flahama friend we met, who didn't appear on the show, was Sandra "Sandy" Davis. Sandy is a a travel writer and photographer and earlier this year released an iPhone and iPad app—Bahamas Bliss: Bimini. If a trip to Bimini is in your future, or if you've ever dreamed of visiting Bimini, this is an app you'll want to check out. Sandy is working on her second Bahamas app—this one for Abaco.

Special co-host Earl Miller and Talkin' Tourism host
Gary Guertin are all smiles during the broadcast.
Our Bahamian (and Flahamian) guests really pulled out all the stops on this show. So, listeners, if you are inclined to seek a Bahamas boating get away, download last week's Talkin' Tourism audio file (Show 145 / October 28) and listen in on all The Bahamas is doing to give you a top notch experience. 

Special thanks and a shout-out to Bahia Mar Beach Resort and Yachting Center for accommodating our live remote. We had a great time and look forward to returning to the show again next year!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coming to you LIVE from the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

This week's show, LIVE from the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
This year will mark the largest contingent of Bahamian hoteliers and marina operators ever to represent the country in a boat show. Other Bahamian organizations represented will be The Bahamas Out Island Promotions Board and the Marina Operators of The Bahamas. 

With the Islands of The Bahamas so close to South Florida, any efforts to improve marine tourism in the Bahamas impacts marine tourism in South Florida. The vast majority of boaters from all over the U.S. headed to the Bahamas pass through South Florida either upon departure or arrival back into the U.S.— meaning enhanced marine tourism for Florida. 

The Islands of The Bahamas is serious about cultivating and enhancing the marine tourism segment of its tourism product. The attractive specials that will be offered to show attendees were crafted following an expansive survey by The Bahamas Tourism Office. The findings of the survey plainly identified the type of incentive that would draw and motivate boaters to continue to visit The Bahamas. 

Confirmed guests for Friday's show include Earl Miller, General Manager Bahamas Tourist Office, Valery Brown, Sr. Director of Marketing, Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board, Stephen Kappeler, President, Marina Operators of the Bahamas, Chavonne Darville, President, Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board and a host of other Talkin' Tourism friends.

This show is definitely one Flahamians everywhere should not miss. See you Friday morning beginning at 10:05 a.m.. If on the Treasure Coast or Grand Bahama, tune your radio dial to WPSL 1590 AM; if elsewhere, point your computer's Internet browser to

Talkin’ Tourism tries to never miss a chance to be where the action is and this week we have definitely found the action. The 52nd annual Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, one of the largest boat shows in the world, begins this week (Thursday) and Talkin’ Tourism will be right in the thick of things! 

Broadcasting live from the media room at the Bahia Mar Hotel and Resort, this week’s edition will focus on the strong and vital marine connection between Florida and The Bahamas. 

According to Earl Miller, General Manager of The Bahamas Tourist Office in Plantation, Florida, “Our team has been working tirelessly towards the show and we are looking to garner maximum exposure and visibility towards luring more boats to the Bahamas. Boating is one of the most lucrative markets for The Bahamas and feeds all areas of the nation, especially the Out Islands."

Chart your course to The Bahamas

Official Boating and Fishing Map of The Bahamas now available

(October 25, 2001) FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA - The Marina Operators of the Bahamas working in collaboration with The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, and Focal Sun Oil as a key sponsor, are proud to be featured in the attached official Boating and Fishing Map of The Bahamas.

As stated by MOB President Steve Kappeler “This is the first generation map of its kind that will demonstrate in detail how easy it is to chart a course from the United States, in particular from Florida to The Bahamas”.

“As thousands of visitors attend the Boating Trade show, slated for October 27-31, 2011, the appeal of the map will highlight our close proximity and affordability that makes our destination the preferred choice for boaters”.

When one charts a course to The Bahamas, key factors such as the outstanding fishing, unique island culture, warm friendly Bahamian people, exciting history and multitude of adventure found only in the wealth of the Bahamian Islands are ones that makes yachting and island hopping a vacation dream come true.

He furthered “No other Caribbean Island nation can boast our pristine Out Islands that are truly green and eco-friendly. Boating and fishing in The Bahamas will put you in touch with nature, and the environment like nowhere else in this hemisphere. This map compliments our Sun-Sand & Sea, and will show even the novice boater how easy it is to get here.”

Free copies of these maps will soon be available only at member marinas of the MOB. 

For more information, email or call (242) 322-8381 or (242) 352-7849.

Greenways, 'Vision' for Grand Bahama and Educational Tourism

You never know what you are going to learn whether listening to the show or hosting the show! Curious about the East Coast Greenway project, we were thrilled that East Coast Greenway Alliance Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano was able to appear as a guest, and did we learn a lot!

Stretching nearly 3,000 miles from the Canadian border to Key West, Florida, the East Coast Greenway has been in development for nearly 20 years and is still going strong. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, Florida will contain the longest stretch when the project is fully completed. 

Proponents of the project have validated the Greenway’s economic contributions to tourism and have witnessed its popularity in the areas where the Greenway has been completed. Treasure Coast community and political leaders have been very supportive in assuring that this “urban Appalachian Trail” is a part of the Treasure Coast community’s fabric.

After "trail" talk, discussion moved on over to the Islands of The Bahamas. Understandably, airlift to an island destination is critical to its tourism product. An island does not live by the cruise industry alone! Call in guest, Bill Maloney, the director of business development for Vision Airlines, had a treasure chest of information about Vision Airline's new scheduled service to Freeport, Grand Bahama. 

It has been some time since such airlift was available to Grand Bahama from key U.S. market hubs. Vision Airline's introductory rates are fantastic and Bill promised that the carrier would provide the best rates and packages available. Such an effort could not have been accomplished without the support and assistance of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. This is terrific news for Grand Bahamians and those wishing to visit this Treasure Coast island neighbor.

Moving on to St. Lucie County, the County's “discovery” of education tourism became the focus. If you missed the discussion, be sure to listen to Talkin' Tourism's Greenways, 'Vision' for Grand Bahama and Educational Tourism show, and find out what it takes to “cash in” on this niche tourism market.

Thanks for tuning in. Join us again on Friday for another fun and informative show—this one live from the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Greenways, Educational Tourism, and Vision for Grand Bahama

Thanks to a head's up from the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Talkin’ Tourism learned leaders of the East Coast Greenway Alliance were planning to meet in Stuart this coming weekend on Saturday October 22. Not wanting to miss a great opportunity to inform our listeners about this project and its significant importance, we immediately invited an alliance spokesperson to appear on our show. With a quick call to East Coast Greenway Alliance member and friend of Martin County, Herb Hiller, the dots were connected and we are pleased to announce that Dennis Markatos-Soriano, East Coast Greenway Alliance executive director, will be our in-studio special guest this week. For those of you who might not know, the East Coast Greenway is the longest planned off-road, paved American trail that will connect 14 states between Calais, Maine and Key West, Florida. The Treasure Coast certainly does have a role in this unique project. More than 30 miles of the finished trail now partially link the Treasure Coast south from Sebastian Inlet of Jupiter. This will be a very informative conversation and most importantly, we'll explore how this may impact Treasure Coast tourism.

We have discussed the many facets of tourism on the show and one that has surfaced occasionally is educational tourism. Recently, tourism leaders in St. Lucie County have awakened to this potential source of visitors and their impact. We’ll discuss what St. Lucie County has discovered that perhaps has more impact than what most people may think.

The economy has certainly affected tourism numbers around the globe. The Islands of the Bahamas, a destination where tourism is the number industry, has been really feeling the impact of a slowed global economy in a large way. A new "player" is about to change that for our Treasure Coast neighbor, Grand Bahama Island. During the second half of the show, guest Bill Maloney, Director of Business Development for Vision Airlines will be calling in to share with us what Vision Airlines has in store regarding airlift service to Grand Bahama Island from a number of U.S. hubs and how they plan to make a huge difference in improving tourism numbers on Grand Bahama.

Join us again this week for another informative and fun show as Gary and Robin once again are Talkin’ Tourism!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pet travel and safety tips for motorists and motorcycle enthusiasts

Exotic bird expert Jason Shane with Gary Guertin.
 Pets were definitely the big topic on the show with Jason Shane, owner of Birds on Safari, as our special guest. With birds being one of the most popular pets in U.S. households, it was very interesting to learn what lengths Birds on Safari goes to ensure the feathered critters their customers board at the shop are made to feel “right at home” while the “bird parents” are off on a trip. From special diets to toys to time out of the cage, boarding pet birds is more of an art than a science. 

Jason with special guest co-host Ed Griffith.
Special guest co-host Ed Griffith
shared his motorcycle "history" this week
with listeners.
Are you considering taking your pet bird out of the country? In addition to “bird talk,” Gary and special guest host Ed Griffith shared some insights about what you should know about air travel with your pet. Did you know that some species of dogs and cats are definitely NOT suitable candidates for flying below cabin? And, do you know what questions you should ask your airline of choice before making arrangements to fly your beloved dog or cat? If not, you'll definitely want to listen to the October 14 edition of Talkin' Tourism.

Planning on cruising to the Bahamas this winter or spring? Well, it is pretty straight forward process if you want to take you dog or cat with you. We walked through the step-by-step process required by the Bahamian government to allow your pet to enjoy the Bahamas too. Here's the permit application link referenced during the show, and here's The Island of the Bahamas Importation of Pets link with more information.

After the "pet talk," discussion moved on to Biketober Fest. Thanks to AAA Auto Club South, we shared some safety tips for motorists and motorcycle enthusiasts, as well as details on Biketober Fest, which just finished up in Daytona Beach, Florida.

For locals, as well as folks planning to visit the Treasure Coast over the next several months, there are a host of great events coming up--from air shows and Pineapple Festivals to those celebrating the Treasure Coast's bootlegging and Florida Cracker history, and Talkin’ Tourism covered them all. 

Don't forget we invite listener submissions so send us your travel related photos, videos and reviews so that we can share them here on our blog or on the Talkin' Tourism Facebook page.

See you on Friday morning for another edutaining tourism filled hour!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

From parrots, dogs and cats to motorcycle mamas!

Biker Bird Squawker!
Photo courtesy of Mr T in
Millions of people travel each year whether for business or leisure purposes. We also know that millions of people have pets of all kinds. So, what are the options for pet care when you are away? To put pet ownership into perspective let's look at a few numbers. The top five pets in the world are cats, dogs, fish, small mammals and birds. The average number of such critters in U.S. households are; 2.45 cats, 1.70 dogs, 12.86 fish, 3.0 small mammals and 2.5 birds.

Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin (aka 'Radio Man') and his wife Misti, having five Amazon parrots in their household and as well as having traveled with their flock to the Caribbean, thought this topic of "pet travel" and "planning for your pets when you travel" would be of interest to Talkin’ Tourism listeners. After all, pets are an important part of our families.

Jason Shane, owner of Birds on Safari will be joining Gary and Robin to share his expertise on all of the various options available to pet owners for the care of their pets when having to travel. Many people also have the need to travel with their pets. Whether it is a road trip, boat trip or by air, there are many tips that can make the trip easy on the pet as well as the pet owner.

October brings pumpkins, goblins, a change in weather and an annual event many enjoy here in Florida:   Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach, Florida. This international award-winning event attracts motorcycle enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada. And, it was designated a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event for October in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007. Event promoters expect 125,000 riders this year. WOW! With this influx of motorcycle enthusiasts, AAA Auto Club South has provided some great statistics about motorcycle safety that all of us should all be aware of and we'll covering on the show.

From birds, dogs and cats to motorcycles, local events and happenings, once again we have an informative and fun show in store.

See you Friday morning at 10:05 on WPSL 1590 AM or

Here's a real life Biker Bird we thought you might enjoy viewing. Warning: some language may not be suitable for general audiences.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tourism professional takes tourist role and shares African adventure

It is not every day that you get to hear about what a trip to Kenya, Africa is like, especially from the perspective of a travel and tourism professional. Despite spending ten days in the wilds of Africa, the tourism product itself was amazingly polished according to adventurer and executive director of the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau Rozeta Mahboubi. With visitors from all over the world traveling to see the wonders of the African wilderness, it was truly amazing how professional the experience was orchestrated. Rozeta’s recap was very enlightening especially with regards to the recognition of the importance of tourism to the country’s economy. They do not take tourism for granted!

As always, tourism has a political side, especially when there are funds involved. While the Florida legislative session is still months away, there is already much chatter about important issues the tourism industry will face. Two returning issues include the amount of tourism tax (or lack of) paid by online reservation services, and whether Visit Florida will remain intact as the State of Florida’s tourism promotional entity.

Needing a little 'island time' Robin, Gary and Rozeta remarked about how similar the Treasure Coast is with its many waterways and cool waterfront watering holes to exotic island destinations around the globe. That led to a lively conversation about some of the group's favorites and why. Was your favorite mentioned? Is there one (or more) you haven't yet explored?  Pour yourself a cold one, tune in to last Friday’s show and take a mini-vacation right here on Talkin’ Tourism. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tourism legislation issues, an African safari & cool beach bars

While over the last several months we have had Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Rozeta Mahboubi and St. Lucie County Tourism Development Council manager Charlotte Lombard as guests, it has been quite some time since we had them in the studio at the same time! With their schedules, that is a near impossibility! However, this week we got lucky.

There are always various legislative issues on the horizon that can impact tourism initiatives (some good and some not so good). Charlotte and Rozeta will share with us what may be in store for the coming year. Also, as we have mentioned time and again, the collaboration of tourism leaders in destination regions adds to the power of promotion. These two tourism leader do practice what they preach. So, with the winter tourist season just around the corner, what can the Treasure Coast expect in the months to come?

How about a side trip to Africa? Well, not long ago, Rozeta went on safari for a change of pace. When she returned, she was overflowing with how well she was treated as a visitor and how expertly the locals catered to her every need. What was different in this equation was Rozeta traveled as a single person,  and a woman. Her insights were fascinating enough to warrant discussion on this week's show.

Sometimes you just can't get to “the islands” as often as you would like. Right? Well on the Treasure Coast, we are blessed with many local waterfront bars and restaurants that can provide a “quick fix” for island yearnings. The Talkin’ Tourism crew will share some of their personal favorites with you. If you've got one or more, email us your list!

With all the fun in store, this is a show you won't want to miss. See you Friday, 10:05 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or from Sailfish Marina for another edition of Talkin’ Tourism.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Indiantown rodeo, history, and updates

Allon Fish with Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks Connors.
After being on the road for two shows it was really good to be back in the Sailfish Marina studio. Our special guest Allon Fish from the Western Martin County/Indiantown Chamber of Commerce was no “fish out of water!" It had been some time since Talkin’ Tourism had caught up with Allon so it was a great reunion.

Allon was kind enough to provide listeners with some history of the Indiantown Rodeo, which helped put the upcoming event into perspective. One thing that is great about tourism in all its forms is that it always encompasses history one way or the other, much to the pleasure of Talkin’ Tourism's own History Lady.

There is a great deal of community support for the revival of the rodeo and it will definitely have strong tourism impact "out west”. Allon also shared other great initiatives happening in Indiantown. If you missed the show, grab your chaps and boots (speaking of chaps, we heard Seacoast National Bank--a sponsor of the rodeo---had a spectacular pair) and listen to the show here

Other topics covered included updates on regional and local events, St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Friendly program, the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s contract renewal, and lots more.

Thanks for tuning in! We love our Talkin' Tourism fans!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wrangling up some rodeo fun!

Get ready for some rodeo fun!
(Photo source:
It's been way too long since Talkin’ Tourism has talked about what's happening in Western Martin County, Florida. The Treasure Coast (Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie counties) are blessed with a fabulous coastal environment and history, as well as a "cracker” one.

To our surprise, a great event that has been occurring off and on since the late 1940’s is returning once again, so this week, Radio Man and History Lady are pulling on their boots, saddling up, and heading on over to Indiantown, which will be hosting the Indiantown Rodeo, October 28-29, and bringing cowboys and cowgirls and rodeo fans from across the U.S.  Can you say “Cowboy Tourism”? You betcha Talkin' Tourism can!

Sanctioned by both the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association, this event is in fact a qualifier for bigger rodeos. If your kids ever wanted to see a "real" cowboy, this is one event you simply cannot miss.

Frankly, self-proclaimed beach boy (and Talkin' Tourism host) Gary will have a lot to learn about this form of tourism. Guest Allon Fish, the executive director of the Indiantown Chamber of Commerce, will be in the studio to give listeners all the details about the rodeo. And, while we have Allon for the entire hour, we'll also focus on all the other things happening in the western reaches of Martin County, Florida.

For a whooping good time, check us out on Friday, September 30, at 10:05 a.m. If you're on the Treasure Coast, you can catch the show on WPSL 1590 AM. If you're out of radio range, you can listen to the live web stream at

See you from Indiantown!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Summer tourism campaigns, industrial tourism, and Bahamas' travel incentives

Robin Hicks-Connors, Gary Guertin and Lisa Gilrane (not
pictured Ed Griffith) explore St. Lucie County's summer
tourism campaign and industrial tourism.
Broadcasting a live remote from Hutchinson Island, Jensen Beach, Florida is certainly a great way to start a weekend!  From the Presidential Suite of the Marriott Courtyard Jensen Beach Hutchinson Island, guests Ed Griffin and Lisa Gilrane filled the hour with some great information.

First up was Lisa giving us the low-down on St. Lucie County’s ongoing efforts to promote Ft. Pierce as a fishing and boating mecca. The campaign targeted the Tampa Bay area over the summer. Why Tampa Bay?  It may have something to do with the number of registered boats in that area of the state and the fact that it is only a three hour drive from the Treasure Coast among other things.  Lisa gave us the results of the campaign and told listeners how tourism stakeholders in St. Lucie County were involved in the promotion. If you missed the live broadcast, get all the details here.

The topic of industrial tourism on the Treasure Coast was very informative.  Ed Griffin, had plenty to share about the topic from a personal, as well as professional, perspective.  Thanks to the Hutchinson Island St. Lucie County Nuclear Power Plant, the Treasure Coast tourism industry is significantly impacted by the regularly scheduled outages, which ensure the safety of the plant.  The hundreds of workers who come into the area have a very large impact on the regional tourism industry. From hotels and restaurants to attractions and grocery stores, this phenomenon seems to occur on a regular basis and frankly is under most people’s radar screens. The economic impact is huge. Many thanks Ed for sharing the local industrial tourism information with Talkin' Tourism.

The hour was completed with updates on approaching local events,, Bahamas updates ($300 fuel credit and a special Abaco offering for Talkin' Tourism listeners) and Robin’s “This Week in History.”

Here's the September 16 audio file for those who might of missed the show, or for those  just now tuning in.

See you on Friday with another hour-filled episode featuring tourism news from both near and far!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Industrial tourism and packaging St. Lucie County as a fishing destination

The term “industrial tourism” is one not frequently heard or mentioned in most tourism circles. This form of tourism is concerned with visits to contemporary industrial sites to see products made, services delivered and the processes and people involved. Using guided tours, viewing galleries and purpose-built centers, visitors are provided with insights into the workplace, and companies can reap public relations benefits. 

The range of industrial attractions is wide and sites include factories, mining operations, power stations, dairies, wineries and theatres. There is however, another form of industrial tourism that the Treasure Coast experiences every 12 to 18 months. This form of tourism involves hundreds of workers coming into an area to perform work on an industrial site. In this case, the St. Lucie County Nuclear Power Plant. So, just how is the Treasure Coast impacted? Will they utilize hotel rooms in the area? What other accommodations do these workers uses. Will it make it harder for leisure visitors to find accommodations during the upcoming winter season? Talkin’ Tourism plans to dive into this subject to learn more.

The Treasure Coast has long been known as a superior sportfishing destination. It appears that St. Lucie County is making a very strong effort to capitalize on this opportunity. Lisa Gilrane, a member of the St. Lucie County Tourism Development Council, will share how tourism officials are supporting this effort.

As we do every week, we will let you know what’s going on in the Bahamas, South Florida and the Treasure Coast.

See you for this Friday's show high above Jensen Beach from the top floor of the Courtyard Marriott Hutchinson Island!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nautical Flea Market and Shrimp Festival spurs tourism and raises funds for two non-profits

Julie Lentine, Robin Hicks-Connors, Rick Allen & Gary Guertin
post-show at the inaugural Treasure Coat Nautical Flea
Market and Shrimp Festival.
Our trip to the Martin County Fairgrounds in Stuart, Florida for the live remote from the Treasure Coast Nautical Flea Market and Shrimp Festival was a great success!

Broadcasting live, just hours after the festival opened, organizers Rick Allen of Allsports Productions and Julie Lentine of Unique Events Florida were just bubbling with enthusiasm. When Talkin' Tourism arrived,  vendors were set and ready to go, and the restaurants and food vendors were firing up the grills. It was “show time!" 

Rick and Julie described how  the Treasure Coast Nautical Flea Market and Shrimp Festival came together to produce a fun three-day weekend for locals and visitors alike. After a quick poll of arriving attendees, it became quickly evident that local events, such as this one, do attract attendees from a broad region.

What also makes these events true community events is the fact that frequently proceeds benefit local charities. This was no exception. Barry Stern, coordinator of the Connor Moran Children’s Cancer Foundation, clearly described how proceeds earmarked from the festival will benefit the foundation. Another local beneficiary was the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of the Treasure Coast and Ken Coe gave listeners a little more information on the organization and its services. Surprise guest Darryl McGill, a member of the Martin County Fair Association, jumped into the mix and let listeners know about the upcoming Martin County Fair BBQ Fest.

Bahamas updates, including a great incentive for boaters launched by the Bahamas Out Islands Promotion Board, Eco-tourism courses for Treasure Coast boat captains, and more rounded out this week’s show. 

If you attended the Treasure Coast Nautical Flea Market and Shrimp Festival we know you have a great time. We sure did!

Here's the September 16 Talkin' Tourism show audio file if you missed the show! Next show...we're back on the road and hitting an "island destination." Details to come.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Calling all shrimp lovers!

From time to time, Talkin’ Tourism likes to actually go to an event and not just promote it on the show. So, we're excited to share that this Friday, we're taking a field trip and broadcasting live from the Treasure Coast Nautical Flea Market and Shrimp Festival, which is occurring September 16, 17 and 18 at the Martin County, Stuart, Florida Fair Grounds!

Local events, like this one, do contribute to tourism. As a three-day event, believe it or not, there will be attendees who will make a long weekend of it, boosting hotel occupancy and activity in general during the Treasure Coast's slow season. 

This nautical and shrimp-themed event, produced by Talkin’ Tourism show sponsors Unique Events Florida and AllSports Productions has something for all marine and boating enthusiasts, as well as connoisseurs of delectable shrimp and entertainment lovers. Scores of vendors will offer marine related items both new and used, including boats and engines, dive gear, fishing tackle, clothing, jewelry, home decor and more. (Might be a great kick-off for your holiday shopping!)

Word has it that there will be more types of shrimp served than Forrest Gump could list in the movie. Entertainment? Well some of the best regional acts (The Ohana Band, Category 5, and Nouveaux Honkies) are lined up to keep the fairgrounds a rockin’! Proceeds from the event benefit a great cause— the Connor Moran “Hope Floats” program and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2011 Light the Night Walk.

As always, this week's show will include Bahamas flavor, including news from The Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board, which has just announced a new promotion that will certainly benefit those boaters planning a trip to the Out Islands of the Bahamas over the next nine months. What is it? Tune in tomorrow at 10:05 a.m. (WPSL 1590 AM or to found out!

Will Robin and Gary be crowned the honorary Shrimp Queen and King of the Treasure Coast Nautical Flea Market & Shrimp Festival. Who knows! Julie Lentine always has surprised up her sleeves, just like the hosts and producers of Talkin' Tourism.

Here are specifics on the Treasure Coast Nautical Flea Market & Shrimp Festival
  • WHEN:  Friday, Saturday and Sunday (September 16, 17 & 18, 2011)
  • WHERE:  Martin County Fairgrounds
  • TIME:  Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • WHAT:  Food, Shopping, Entertainment, Interactive Kids Zone, Free Parking
  • ADMISSION:  Friday $7 per person / Saturday $5 per person / Sunday $3 per person; kids under 10 FREE
See you tomorrow from the Treasure Coast Nautical Flea Market & Shrimp Festival!!

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