Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Camping in the Wonderful Outdoors!

Grab your sleeping bags, canteens, and mess kits! This week, in the quest to explore all forms of tourism endeavors, Talkin’ Tourism delves into the wonderful world of camping. How popular is camping and who is the "average" camper? According to the Outdoor Federation:
  • In 2008, 33.7 million Americans between the ages of 6 and older participated in car or backyard camping activities and 16.5 million Americans participated in RV camping
  • 56 percent of all campers are male and 43 percent are female
  • 24.7% of campers have a household income between $50,00 and $75,000 and 24.9% over $100,000

Well, according to the facts above, camping represents a substantial segment of the overall tourism industry. So, how does the world of camping fit into the Treasure Coast, and specifically Martin County? We plan to find out.

Talkin' Tourism hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors have been invited by Joe Pilla, the park supervisor of Phipps Park located in Martin County, Florida, to learn more about camping and RV opportunities in our neck of the woods. Phipps Park is the only County managed campground in Martin County. The remaining campgrounds and parks in the county are either run by the State of Florida or federal government.

Phipps Park has recently been significantly improved and we'll learn more about those improvements. In addition, Joe will share his insights into his segment of the Treasure Coast tourism scene.

Also rumored to be joining this week’s show is Mark Nichols, founder of the popular DOA Fishing Lures company based in Martin County, and fishing guide Capt. Mike Conner, freelance outdoor writer and contributor to numerous national fishing publications. This should be a great show for all outdoor enthusiasts!

So, get the campfire going, bring out the marshmallows and keep watch for Yogi and Boo-Boo because Friday, January 28, Talkin' Tourism is headed for fun in the great outdoors! Tune in to the fun at 10 a.m. on either your radio dial--WPSL 1590 AM--or via your Internet

Monday, January 24, 2011

One of the Treasure Coast's Hidden Gems: Club Med Sandpiper Bay

Being able to step out of a day-to-day routine and into a very international, fun, lively scene (for most people) is not easily done. But those who live on Florida’s Treasure Coast have the opportunity to do so. Why?  Because if you live on Florida’s Treasure Coast you are within easy (and we mean EASY) driving distance to the only Club Med in the USA!

On Friday, Talkin' Tourism hosts Gary Guertin (aka Radio Man) and Robin Hicks-Connors (aka History Lady) jumped in the car and within 20 minutes were in a totally different world. After hearing about the completion of Club Med Sandpiper Bay's $25 million renovation, the Talkin’ Tourism duo had put the location on their broadcast "bucket list," and with last Friday's show, that one may be crossed off the list, but with a few notations like, "we have to go back."

With fantastic assistance from the Club Med’s local and corporate leadership, Gary and Robin had a chance to speak with the managers of four very important resort departments. Got children? Then Patrick Olivieri is your man! Patrick is the Club's Family Products Manager. He talked about all the awesome programs the Club has for children from 0 to 17 years. At any given time, Patrick can be uncle to 250 Club Kids!

When you vacation, do you want to totally relax or do you like to get up and go? Guests to Club Med Sandpiper can do both. For those on the go, they have options to participate in super excursions on property or around the Treasure Coast. Mathew Fontix, the Club's Spa and Discovery Manager, was all over the choices. From river cruises with dolphins, to relaxing massage, to offshore fishing, nothing is impossible. Entertainment? Club Med has that covered too, including a flying trapeze act, a circus, dancing, music by international bands and more! Entertainment Manager Dahiana Leidy could have had her own two-hour talk show to describe all that is happening. Do you prefer a sports vacation getaway? Then meet Brian Tranbarger, the Club Med Sports Manager. Brian described some of the offerings including Club Med’s golf, tennis and fitness academies, which are led by some of the world’s best coaches and trainers.

If you were unaware of all that Club Med Sandpiper Bay has to offer, you NEED to listen to this show (download it here). And, best yet, you don't have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to enjoy this world-class resort. We didn't have the time to talk about the $25 million in renovations, but the photo album below will tell the story better that we can!

"See" you next week, and as always, thanks for listening!

Check out below, the Talkin' Tourism slide show of Club Med Sandpiper Bay:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Italy Comes to the Treasure Coast

Treasure Coast Italian Fest!

Come on out and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of on the Treasure Coast.

Great fun for the entire tastings, entertainment, games, kid's zone, Italian cuisine.

LOCATION:  Martin County Fairgrounds 

INFO:  (772) 486-4867 or 

The Treasure Coast Italian Festis proudly produced by Unique Events Florida!

International Tourism on Florida's Treasure Coast (A Peek at Club Med Sandpiper)

International tourism on the Treasure Coast has always been low profile, compared to more urban and hip metro centers such as Miami, Orlando and even certain areas on Florida's west coast. Despite being somewhat under the radar, there have been efforts by various groups on the Treasure Coast over many years to cultivate a basic level of international tourism awareness, but with no real measureable success. However, for many years, Club Med Sandpiper, one of the finest family oriented Club Med’s in the world tucked away on the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, has been attracting visitors from all of the world to the Treasure Coast. These visitors to our Treasure Coast region frequently get off campus and visit our local restaurants, take sportfishing charters, shop in our stores, patronize our art galleries and so much more.

This week, Talkin' Tourism hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors will broadcast live from Club Med Sandpiper. Having recently undergone a $25 million renovation, Club Med Sandpiper has repositioned itself to continue to attract thousands of international visitors to the Treasure Coast. Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond) will bring our listeners the latest information on this genuine asset to our region's international tourism efforts.

Our guest line-up this week includes: Family Product Manager Patrick Olivieri, Sports Manager Brain Tranbarger and Leidy Dahina, Entertainment Manager. Radio Man has memories of many years ago when the property first became a Club Med property. It will be great to hear what the new renovations produced in terms of the overall guest experience!

Tune in and you may even hear Gary and Robin doing a little “Parlez vous Francais.”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Marine Tourism and the Gateway to the Bahamas

Allied Marine's waterfront conference room was a great spot to broadcast last week’s show at the launch of the 37th annual Stuart Boat Show. Special thanks to Jon Burkard, vice-president of brokerage sales for Allied Marine, a Ferretti Group Company for rolling out the red carpet for the Talkin’ Tourism team. The guest line-up could not have been more perfect with old friends reuniting and new friendships being kindled.

Stuart Boat Show producer Rick Allen led the discussion about the economic impact of the show to the Treasure Coast region, with specific insight on the numbers and dollars. John Smith, the president of the Marine Industries of the Treasure Coast (MIATC), shared how important the show is to the hundreds of marine industry firms and business in the area, as well as the show's true potential for continued growth.

Continuing to drill down to tourism specific impact, Rozeta Mahboubi, the executivie director of the Martin County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, explained the direct impact to local hotels, restaurants and related hospitality business.

Representing Bahamas Ministry of Tourism interests, Richard Treco from the Bahamas Tourist Office, expressed the Ministry’s very strong commitment to the Treasure Coast markets. It is very clear that the Treasure Coast is the Gateway to the Bahamas for thousands of boating and fishing enthusiasts. With the island of Bimini being the closest Bahama island to the U.S. mainland, Bimini Big Game Club’s Christopher Pollock was on our prestigious guest list and he shared some great upcoming events, tournaments and boating activities that are sure to be a magnet for folks headed to Bimini. Very exciting stuff!

Between hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors' questions and comments, combined with the enthusiastic conversations by the guests, the hour seemed way too short. It was a terrific and fitting second anniversary edition of  Talkin' Tourism. If marine tourism is important to you, this week's program will help you truly understand why this segment of the tourism industry is so important. If you missed it, here's the audio file for our January 14 show covering the Stuart Boat Show and the Gateway to the Bahamas. And, be sure to check out the Stuart Boat Show slide show below.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Marine Tourism is BIG Business Around the World

Just 103 weeks ago, Gary and Misti Guertin, along with Robin Hicks-Connors, launched into the world of regional tourism promotion via local radio, internet and social media. Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast was born. This Friday’s 104th show will mark the second anniversary of the show! How time flies when you are having fun (and rum)! Over the past two years, based upon the acceptance of the show in the Bahamas and British Virgin Islands, we had to change its name. It's now affectionately known as Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond)! 

It is fitting that our two-year anniversary will be marked by a live remote this week from the 37th annual Stuart Boat Show—and, it also marks the second show we've done from the Stuart Boat Show.

On the Treasure Coast (and beyond), marine tourism is a huge segment of tourism economy. As a matter of fact, in Martin County, there are nearly as many, if not more, wet slips and dry boat storage spaces than hotel rooms! 

This week’s show includes a line-up of guests who contribute in a big way to the Treasure Coast's and other  marine tourism economies. Here's the line-up:
A few other surprise guests and fans will most likely be thrown into the boat, too!

One thing is certain, we promise a fun, lively and  informative show, so tune in this Friday (January 14) to WPSL 1590 AM or at 10:05 a.m. This is a ship (oops, we mean show), you won't want to miss!

(P.S. If you're on Facebook, get more show details on the Stuart Boat Show's Facebook Page.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ships Ahoy on the Treasure Coast and Beyond...

Settling back at the Elliott Museum studio after a hectic holiday season, Radio Man and History Lady kick-started 2011 by focussing on a great Treasure Coast family attraction and inviting Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast executive director Tammy Calabria as the first show guest of the year.

For many years, the Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast was the dream of a dedicated group of local and seasonal residents. The dream became a reality in 2008, and with the recently added Spanish Galleon exhibit, the Children’s Museum is a must see and do for visiting families and local families alike. Last Friday’s show will provide you everything you need to know about this Treasure Coast arts and culture asset. Thanks Tammy for sharing this information with our listeners. Don’t forget to check out the photo gallery below to see a sneak peek of this great attraction!

Other show conversation and fun centered around Gary starting the new year off by being a tourist himself and spending several days of the first week of  2011 in the Bahamas. If you listened in, you know his island destination and what Discovery he came across.

The weekly Bahamas Update, Treasure Coast Things-to-Do, Places-to-Go and People-to-See, and more is ready for you when you download last Friday’s show. Here's the file!

See you on Friday from the Stuart Boat Show!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Spanish Galleons, Cracker Houses and Pint-Sized Florida Towns for Kids

Most museums on the Treasure Coast are devoted to specific genres that typically appeal more to museums, natural arts, period museums and historical museums. Enter the museum especially built for children, where everything is purposely designed with kids in mind. In Jensen Beach at Indian Riverside Park, the Treasure Coast is extremely fortunate to have a children's museum , and especially one that celebrates the Treasure Coast's heritage. What woulc be more fitting than exhibits like a 60-foot replica Spanish Galleon built exclusively for the enjoyment of children? Or a child-sized Floridian town, with a grocery store, a traditional Floridian cracker house, a wellness center and a beach-themed toddler play area?

This week the executive director of the Children's Museum of the Treasure Coast's executive director Tammy Calabria, will provide all the details on how this unique attraction for the Children's Museum became a reality. She'll also share the various educational enrichment activities at the museum that bring history alive for children.

Arts and culture are alive on the Treaasure Coast, even for children! Listen in tomorrow (Friday, January 7) to WPSL 1590 AM or online at and learn more on how the Children's Museum of the Treasure Coast brings history alive!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Who Ate Grapes, Hid the Knives, Broke All the Dishes and Why?

One of the great responsibilities of radio on-air personalities is the requirement to paint pictures with words. Friday’s show was a great illustration of this requisite. Rumor had it, based on several Facebook postings, that the studio may be in several different locations, ranging from Foxy’s in the British Virgin Islands to some secret location on the Treasure Coast. The fun fact is we could have been anywhere you wanted us to be! The secret location was somewhere in FLAHAMA, a Great State of Mind. It was a fitting salute to 2010 for History Lady, Radio Man and special guest host Ed Griffith to be together sharing with listeners the highlights of our 2010 shows. There were many great memories and insider stories as Robin and Ed disclosed some of their favorite shows. Interestingly, some of Ed and Robin's picks were the same shows!

Since Talkin' Tourism is tourism centric, it only made sense for Gary and Robin to take a quick spin around the globe to explore some of the traditions and lore associated with the New Year in various countries. Do you know what pasta is the correct pasta to eat on New Year’s Day in Sicily? How about in what country is it customary to eat a dozen grapes at the stroke of midnight and which country consumes thirteen? And it what country do they hide all the knives in the house for 24 hours? Great New Year’s Eve cocktail party trivia indeed.

And if that wasn't enough, a few specialty cocktail recipes and news on fishing tournaments here and abroad were thrown in the mix to close out our last show of 2010. If you missed the fun, you can download last week's show here.

We hope you had a fabulous Old Year’s Night, and are off to a healthy and prosperous New Year. See you next week in 2011!
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