Thursday, April 28, 2011

Inlets, Secret Missions, Summer Vacations, and Sizzling Beaches

With co-host Robin returning from her “mission” to San Salvador, Bahamas, this week we will tap into her experience and learn all we can about the island that is a legend for spectacular fishing and diving, which is also where Christopher Columbus first reached the America. Informants on island relayed back to Talkin’ Tourism headquarters that History Lady and her associate Lynne “experienced the island like a local." Did she find “the man in the blue suit”?  And, who is Elvis? A limo sightseeing tour in an island only twelve miles long and five miles wide? Hmmmm, is there a San Salvador-Treasure Coast-FLAHAMA connection here?

Several days ago (April 26), a public meeting was held to discuss the fate of the seriously shoaling St. Lucie Inlet. If you missed the meeting, Radio Man will share his impressions on the responses of the panel and bring you up to speed on where we may be headed. Does the inlet benefit only a select group of people or do we all benefit from this waterway asset?

Is tourism up in the Family Islands or is it holding its own? A recent report from the Bahamas Out Island Promotion’s Board indicates mixed results. What islands and properties are up, and which ones are “holding their own?"

And, what about those rising gas prices? Will they impact summer travel? In most households, the answer is a loud "YES!" So, it's time to explore alternatives to ensure a summer get-a-way.

Are you staying “in-state” this summer and looking for the best beaches in Florida? We’ll be running down the list of  the top ones in the Sunshine State as ranked by Visit Florida. Categories include the best beach for solitude, family vacation, whitest sand, and most romantic. (Here's the Travel Channel's 5 secret beaches they claim will give you a taste of a lesser-known, less-crowded Florida--and one is very close by.) What kind of beach is your favorite?

All this, and of course, things to do, places to go and people to see on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and beyond) coming up Friday (April 29) morning at 10 a.m.. Tune in on the radio at WPSL 1590 AM. Those out of listening range, can pick up the show on the web at

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tourism updates, fishing tournaments and here marlin, marlin.

Marlin release courtesy of Reel Candy Sportfishing.

Sometimes the best made plans do not turn out as expected.  Radio Man, History Lady and special guest co-host Ed Griffith anxiously waited for phone-in guest and Florida tourism guru Jack Wert, to call in to the show to discuss proposed changes in the way Florida is promoted as a world class destination. Well, Jack got tied up in meetings and his call didn't come until after the show, so the Talkin’ Tourism crew moved on to the spring cleaning (or purging) of the show files.  

With lots of items to cover, the hour, as always, flew by. What did we cover?  Here is the list:
  • St. Lucie Inlet dredging
  • Approval of a fee-based U.S. Customs Office in Stuart
  • Robin’s secret mission to San Salvador
  • The Bahamas Billfish Championship
  • Bimini Big Game Club’s approaching inaugural Billfish Invitational
  • Third annual Lionfish Derby & Dinner at Green Turtle Cay
  • Ladies Let’s Go Fishing Seminar coming to Stuart
  • Three tips to beat airline extra baggage fees
  • Increased bed tax dollars this season on the Treasure Coast, and
  • the main topic, the possible changes to Visit Florida from the perspective of a local Treasure Coast hotelier. 


Some of these topics (dredging of the St. Lucie Inlet, Visit Florida, fishing, and secret missions) will return as more details unfold.

If you missed the show, download the audio file HERE. As always, thanks for listening and be sure to tune back in on Friday at 10 a.m. for another fun hour of Talkin' Tourism. Will Robin find her "guy in a blue suit?"  We'll let you know on Friday!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Florida Tourism to Take a New Form? And, Secret Missions in de Islands.

The Florida State Legislature may be about to change what many in Florida believe to be a national state model for tourism promotion. Under Governor Scott's proposed change, Jobs Florida would be the controlling force behind numerous entities including the Office of Unemployment Compensation, Office of Workforce Services, Florida Housing Finance Corporation and tourism--meaning Visit Florida. The Florida Senate has already approved dissolving Visit Florida and House committees appear to be in agreement.

Florida tourism leaders are very vocally objecting to these proposed . In the past, what has been perceived by many as a positive and effective relationship between the public and private sector of the hospitality industry is now being scruntinized by governmental leaders. To provide our listeners with an better understanding of the issue (tourism is a $65 billion annual industry in Florida), Talkin’ Tourism will be speaking with Jack Wert, who has over 20 years experience in tourism destination marketing.

Mr. Wert has help create two destination marketing organizations in Florida, first in Seminole County and the other currently for Collier County. Additionally, Mr. Wert has served as a prior chair of the Florida Convention and Visitors Association, and he currently serves on the board of the Florida Commission on Tourism, the Education Committee for Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and the DMAI Accreditation Board. He is very qualified to provide Talkin' Tourism listeners with the facts on how this change could impact Florida’s position as a global tourism destination. What are the positives of this change and what are the disadvantages? We plan to explore those questions.
The remainder of the show will be dedicated to spring cleaning. There are always items and topics that never quite make it on the air each week, so this week, Radio Man and History Lady plan to purge the show files and to catch listeners up on all the toursim details from near and far they might find helpful.

What will be covered and what part of the world will it cover?  Here's a hint: last week History Lady disclosed she was going to be taking a trip to a lower Bahamas Island to pursue “the man in the blue suit”. She will be looking for Peaches, Hilton, Ms, T and a man named Marvin. Has History Lady turned double-agent? Is 007 (aka known as Abaco) involved in the mission? Is History Lady on a Talkin’ Tourism secret mission? Tune in tomorrow at 10 a.m. to WPSL 1590 AM or to hear the answers to those questions and more!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sailing Lattitudes and Ineffective Traveler Attitudes

For a region noted for power boating and high performance sportfishing, it was a real eye opener to speak with two officials from the U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County, the executivie director Alan Jenkinson,  and chairman of the center's board of directors, Jim St. John. Since 1992, this Martin County facility has taught thousands the art and sport of sailing. Now, in a well-equipped facility at Indian Riverside Park in Jensen Beach, the U.S. Sailing Center is truly a top-notch facility. Alan and Jim both shared the center attracts many visitors, who travel to the Treasure Coast to participate in various regattas, special events and sailing classes. The sailing center is even producing world-class competitors! There are too many details to go into here on the blog, so if you missed the show, check out the archived show audio. After learning more about what the center does, you just may want to volunteer at this first-class and riverfront sailing center.

Jim St. John (who is also the president and CEO of Mantis Hospitality), Radio Man and History Lady had a great time reviewing Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Travelers.

If you missed the show, here's Landloper's 'ineffective' list:

  1. Dream trip fantasies
  2. Mortgage your home
  3. Distrust new food
  4. Refuse to toleratre
  5. Thinking inside the box
  6. The world is your resort
  7. Stay home
Be sure to check out the Landlopers blog for more detailed and colorful explanations. As ridiculous as the habits may sound to most seasoned travelers, Radio Man, History Lady and Jim all shared some personal firsthand accounts of examples they have experienced during their careers in the travel and tourism industry. Hopefully you aren't an 'ineffective traveler' and will get as much of a chuckle out of the list as we did.

Those are just the highlights of our Friday, April 16 show. For the finer points, such as Bimini’s End of the World Bar reopening, St. Lucie Inlet updates, “this week in history," and more, download the show, pour your favorite beverage and take a mini-vacation on us. See you again this coming Friday!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sailing and the 7 Habits of Ineffective Travelers

For decades, Stuart and the Treasure Coast have been primarily known for sportfishing and power boating. Many other parts of the country however, have a strong reputation for sail powered craft. New England, the Chesapeake Bay area, the Great Lakes and the west coast of the United States are all noteworthy for the number of sailboats that ply their waters. Given that fact, why would someone work to establish a U.S. Sailing Center here in Stuart, Florida? This week, Talkin’ Tourism will have the U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County’s executive director, Alan Jenkinson, and the board of directors chairman, Jim St. John, as our special guests.

Here's a little history on the U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County to set the stage for Friday:

In 1992, a small group of community leaders envisioned the possibilities and opportunities that a community sailing center could provide to children and residents of Martin County. Later that year, US SAILING, the National Governing Body of sailing in the United States, authorized the group to develop a "small boat training facility" in Martin County. The center had a modest beginning, operating from a trailer located on the Jensen Beach Causeway. With hard-working volunteers and donated sailboats, the center began to grow. In 1998, it was recognized as the nation's, "most creative and innovative community sailing program." In April 2002, the center moved into a new home at the north end of Indian Riverside Park. Like the little engine that could, the U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County has grown into a world class facility.

What else is on tap for this week? How about a list of the Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Travelers. Hopefully, none of our listeners are guilty of these. A St. Lucie Inlet dredging update, what’s going on in the Bahamas as well as events and activities you will not want to miss here on the Treasure Coast will round out the hour.

Enjoy the rest of your week. Gary and Robin look forward to entertaining you Friday morning!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Central Florida’s Space Coast Paradise--Home to Coastal Angler Magazine and More

Last week we broadcast from Melbourne Beach, Florida. The original plan was to do the show from the Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront Resort & Spa, our accommodations for the weekend. As luck would have it, telephone technology circumvented Plan A requiring the implementation of Plan B, which called for using the canal-front office of Coastal Angler Magazine, just a quick five minute hop from the hotel. Whew! Predicting the unpredictable keeps us out of trouble and back up plans are always essential when we're on the road.

Featured guest Rodney Smith, the publisher of Coastal Angler Magazine, was a great interview. Known for his environmental passion, Rodney shared with listeners how he became involved with spreading the environmental message through his personal actions and the printed word. An avid fisherman, boater, surfer and outdoor enthusiast, “Use it…Don’t Abuse It” has been his mantra for over three decades. Rodney shared why Coastal Angler Magazine is actually increasing circulation and page count instead of decreasing, as is the trend with the vast majority of magazines and newspapers today. His reasons were fascinating.

Despite the last minute change in broadcast locations, Christine Michaels, president and CEO of the Melbourne Regional Chamber of East Central Florida, tracked us down and did an outstanding job of filling us in on what's happening in the Brevard County/Space Coast area. While this trip did not permit, the Talkin' Tourism crew definitely wants to head back to Melbourne soon for some fishing and surfing fun, as well as a visit to the Brevard Zoo, which Christine said is not to be missed!

It had been quite some time since Radio Man last visited Melbourne and there have been quite a few changes. Water activities, festivals, museums, fishing, boating, surfing, and of course just plain relaxation can all be found here.

To learn more about all the great activities, events and accommodations you can discover in Melbourne, check out the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce web site at

If you missed the show, you can download it or listen to it HERE.

Details for this week's coming show to be posted soon!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Inlet in Peril and Home Sweet Home

John Smith listens in while Butch Bayle talks about his beautiful
marina, Sailfish Marina, and the services they offer.
It is always great getting a fresh start. Last Friday was our first show from our new home studio, Sailfish Marina in Stuart, Florida. To kick off the first show from our new location, Sailfish Marina owner and operator Butch Bayley welcomed the Talkin’ Tourism team and gave our listeners an overview of their beautiful marina, along with all of the services they provide to the boating community.

The key topic for this week, and one that we will revisit as developments occur, is the perilous condition of the St. Lucie Inlet and the efforts to determine a solution both short and long term for this important economic resource of our community. Launching the discussion this week was John Smith, president of the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast and owner of River Forest Yachting Center. While certainly there are many differing opinions on the matter, John, Radio Man and History Lady were all in agreement that decisions need to be based on sound and factual information. Many comments made by observers may not in fact be accurate. This can lead to lots of needless emotion and concern on the issue. Despite some interesting thoughts on the best solution provided by some, there are many factors to be considered in the current inlet equation. We hope that you will follow us on this issue over the coming weeks as we seek to ensure that all of the facts are clear and the best decision is made for the long term solution. We would love to hear your thoughts. If you're inclined to share, please email them to us at

Who would have thought disasters could translate to boosts in tourism a particular attractions? If you missed the show, check it out HERE to learn which types of museums and locations around the U.S. have had a boost in attendance due to the recent disaster in Japan.

We hit the Top 15 Places Your Kids Should Visit before they Turn 15, and Robin had some interesting insight to our list based on experiences with her daughter Ashley. It wasn’t what Radio Man expected, that’s for sure!

Lastly, our second book review was interesting and a segment we look forward to building as time goes on. The 100th anniversary edition of John Muir’s My First Summer in the Sierra with accompanying photos by Scott Miller made a big impression on Gary. Again, if you listened to the show, you know how big of an impression. If you missed the show, you can catch Gary's review HERE.

Thanks for checking out the blog! We'll be broadcasting live from Melbourne Beach on Friday's show. Tune in for all the fun and infotainment!
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