Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Let's go, go, go to Abaco!

Hope Town Lighthouse, Abaco, Bahamas.
Photo credit:  Misti Guertin
This week, Talkin’ Tourism will not just be talking about tourism, we'll be the tourist as we bring the show to you live from the Abaco Inn, located on Elbow Cay, in Abaco, Bahamas. This great oceanfront property is perfectly suited for a great broadcast location. Just steps away from the sea, our studio will be spectacular!

We have put together a stellar line-up of guests who best represent all that is great about Abaco. Michael Albury, president of the Abaco Community Tourism Foundation and the Abaco Chamber of Commerce, will give us an overview of current tourism and business trends in Abaco. Michelle Mikula, the public relations and group business representative for the Abaco Tourist Office, will be on-hand to share some of Abaco's great get-away opportunities and approaching events. The Islands of the Bahamas has tremendous diverse ocean and coastal environments. Friends of the Environment, an Abaco based environmental group, will talk about what this non-profit is doing to ensure the stewardship of the environment for generations to come. Talkin’ Tourism will also welcome Lindsey McCoy, producer with Conch Salad TV, a new web-based media company that produces a new video every two weeks showcasing the Bahamas from a “locals” viewpoint. I am sure there will be some great story lines. There could be other surprise guests as well, so don’t miss this week’s show.

Coordinating our Talkin’ Tourism road trips is no small task and special thanks go out to Bimini Island Air, A and P Auto Rentals, and Abaco Inn.

Here’s a snapshot (if that is possible) of Abaco:
Located at the top of the Bahamian archipelago 75 miles north of Nassau and 200 miles east of Miami, Florida, the Abacos stretch for 130 miles from Walker’s Cay in the north to Hole-in-the-Wall in the south. Marsh Harbour, Abaco is the third-largest town in the Bahamas and the commercial hub of the Abacos. It also has the Out Islands’ first and only set of traffic lights. A short ferry ride from Marsh Harbour is Hope Town. Visitors feel like they stepped back in time with quaint New England style villages and pastel colored houses that date back to the firsts settlers who arrived from South Carolina in 1783. For more about Abaco visit: www.bahamas.com/out-islands/abacos.
Let’s go, go, go to Abaco! Are there any Treasure Coast-Abaco connects? You bet there are and we are determined to find more!

"See you" Friday when we'll be telling you why "It’s Better in the Bahamas!"

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vacation planning, travel trends, and HOT Memorial Day Venues

Jody Clifford, Talkin' Tourism
co-host Robin Hicks-Connors and
Gary Smith ready to talk tourism!
On Friday’s show, our listeners learned what is new and exciting at the Maritime and Classic Boat Museum, as well as the travel trends for the approaching Memorial Day Weekend.

Jody Clifford, executive director of the Maritime and Classic Boat Museum, ran through the museum's summer schedule of exhibits and shared what day of the week you can get in for free! Talk about a great deal! The museum is definitely on the move with plans underway for the 3rd annual Real McCoy Rum Runner event, which is slated for November 18. An new venue has been secured. If you missed the show, download the audio to get the inside track on the new location and to hear more details on this not-to-be-missed event.

Gary Smith, a AAA Auto Club South travel professional, was a wealth of information on the travel services America Automobile Association provides. Folks, AAA is not your grandfather's Oldsmobile any longer. For those of you who have not recently investigated the range and scope of travel services they provide, check it out. When you do, you just may become a member if you aren't already.

So what are the Memorial Day Weekend travel trends? We can’t say here (because we want you to download the show) but it definitely has something to do with water! If you are planning to travel for the long weekend, check out the top eight Memorial Day Weekend get-away locations according to Oyster.com to find out if your destination made the list. Here's a hint:  the top eight range from Jamaica to Miami to the Bahamas.

If you are taking a stay-cation for Memorial Day or this summer and are looking for suggestions on where spend a little time locally, the show covered lots to see and do right here on the Treasure Coast.

Jumping across the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas, Gary covered the results of the Bahamas Billfish Championship after the completion of the first two legs, and let’s just say there are definitely Treasure Coast connections.

To hear all the details, download the show HERE.

We'll see you all this Friday from the Abaco Inn on Elbow Cay in beautiful Abaco, Bahamas! More details to follow.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Memorial Day Deals and Maritime Updates.

Where will your family be spending Memorial Day weekend?
Photo credit: aboutalltravel.com
This week we catch up with Jody Clifford, the executive director of the Maritime and Classic Boat Museum, to explore what's new and to talk about the early planning stages of the now infamous "Rum Runner" party. (Remember, time flies when you're having rum.)

Also, with Memorial Day weekend—the official start of summer—just around the corner, Gary Smith, a travel professional with AAA Auto Club South, will join us to share holiday travel trends across the U.S and Florida. Some of the questions the Talkin' Tourism team plans to ask is will the price of gas impact travel, what are the alternatives, will stays closer to home be popular, and are there deals out there we should know about, and if yes, how do we find them?

We'll also cover the top eight resorts to visit for the Memorial Day Weekend, as reported by Oyster.com, a travel industry web site specializing in reviewing resort properties from the viewpoint of the visitor, not the property.

And, of course the regular Treasure Coast and Bahamas features will be in the mix to keep you in the know about what’s happening in tourism around the region.

"See you" at Sailfish Marina!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tourism and the Board Taking the World by Storm!

Rochelle Numann, Rozeta Mahboubi, Dan Numann,
and Charlotte Lombard know the importance of tourism,
as evidenced by their signs!
It was a real pleasure being back at the Courtyard Marriott-Hutchinson Island for Friday's show. Nothing can beat a remote studio location with such a great eighth floor penthouse view of the ocean!

As planned, St. Lucie County Tourism Manager Charlotte Lombard and Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Rozeta Mahboubi were not at a loss of words on the importance of commemorating National Travel and Tourism Week on the local level, as well as on the national level. Both tourism executives share the philosophy: “it takes a community to make a great destination”.

Question: does the travel and tourism industry impact even those who aren't in the industry or not? Charlotte and Rozeta certainly answered that question and both were loaded with lots of facts to bring their points across! If you download the May 13 show, you’ll even get a preview of the promotional campaign created to promote Ft. Pierce this summer---here fishy, fishy, fishy!

Who would have thought that standing up on an over-sized surfboard with a canoe paddle would become an incredibly popular sport worldwide! This show, listeners got to meet Dan and Rochelle Numann of Coastal Paddle Boarding Rentals and Tours. Based out of the Port Salerno Fish House on the Manatee Pocket, this avid “water-centric” business is getting Treasure Coast locals and visitors all fired up about stand up paddle-boarding (referred to as SUP by the pros). From lessons and guided tours in the Indian River Lagoon to excursions into the Atlantic, Dan and Rochelle are the perfect hosts for your first standup paddle boarding adventure. Co-host Robin Hicks-Connors and Talkin’ Tourism co-producers Gary and Misti Guertin, took Dan up on his offer for an orientation and they are hooked!

In addition to National Travel and Tourism Week and paddle boarding, the hour show included Bahamas tournament updates and travel tips for teens from Robin.

If you did (or plan to) listen to the complete show, you will be among the first to know which island in the Bahamas we'll be broadcasting from on May 27. Here's a hint: a blue-headed parrot bears its name. Give up? Download the show and you'll be 'in the know.'

Tune in this Friday (and every Friday as a matter of fact) for another action-packed, fun-filled Talkin’ Tourism adventure!

P.S. Be sure to check out our music video below of our SUP adventure!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Paddling up to Tourism

Travel and tourism is big business worldwide. So big in fact that here in the U.S., an entire week (first full week in May)—National Tourism Week—is set aside to celebrate and educate. Celebrate? Yes, with lots of parties and publicity to celebrate the power of travel. Educate? Yes, continuing to educate the general public on the overall economic importance of tourism, and how the industry increases their quality of life.

This week two champions of tourism will join Talkin' Tourism to continue the tourism celebration and education. Rozeta Mahboubi, executive director of the Martin County, Florida Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Charlotte Lombard, tourism manager for St. Lucie County, Florida, will describe what their bureaus have done to recognize this most important economic generator.

Enthusiastically passionate about the industry, Rozeta and Charlotte will have lots to offer. Here are two tourism factoids to ponder:
  1. Each household in the U.S. would pay $1,000.00 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by the industry
  2. Total travel and tourism jobs in the U.S. is 14.1 million. You could fill the Louisiana Superdome more than 101 times over with people directly employed in travel.
So, how important is travel and tourism on the local level? That very question will be answered during the show.

Paddling along, it seems like where ever there is water, people figure out a new and fun way to enjoy it. This week you'll meet Dan Numann, the owner and operator of Coastal Paddle Boarding. Dan and his wife Rochelle are introding this popular new water adventure to Martin County residents and visitors. Just several years ago you would be hard pressed to find anyone locally that pursued this sport. Today, it is one of the hottest aquatic pastimes anywhere. Suited for young and old alike (Dan claims from age 8 to 80), paddle boarding is a great multi-generational family activity, and Dan also claims, a "chick sport." Radio Man and History Lady love to talk about tourism, but there are times when it is fun to actually experience tourism. So, earlier this week, show co-producers Gary and Misti, along with Robin, took Dan up on his offer to “just get up and paddle," an adventure many visitors and residents are enjoying on Treasure Coast waterways. So how was it? Will they do it again? Would this be something fun to do in the Bahamas? Tune in for those answers and for details on the paddling adventure.

Besides tourism and standup paddleboarding, more fun and informative items are on show menu including Summer Safety Tips for Teen Travel developed by the Road Less Traveled adventure tour company, Bahamas updates and more. And speaking of the Bahamas and travel, Gary and Robin will let you know during the show where Talkin' Tourism will be broadcasting from in two weeks! Hint: Let's go, go, go to A_ _ _ _!

See you Friday Morning…LIVE from the beautiful Courtyard Marriott-Hutchinson Island in Jensen Beach.http://theroadlesstraveled.com/

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tournaments are BIG Business & Off to Grand Bahama Island

If you listened to Friday’s show, you will now know that fishing tournaments are really an excuse for a party! Well, not exactly. The fishing is certainly important but the 'catching' is what it is all about if you want to score some great prizes. The fun atmosphere and camaraderie that surrounds all fishing tournaments, whether a small local evet or major championship tournaments, such as the SKA (Southern Kingfish Association) or the BBC (Bahamas Billfish Championship), are very important components of the action.

Fishing tournaments play a big role in tourism promotion in many destination areas. The Francis Langford Memorial Fishing Tournament and the TCBA (Treasure Coast Builders Association) Memorial Weekend Fishing Tournament are no exception. Jim Moore, representing the Francis Langford Memorial Tournament, and George Cooper, representing the TCBA Memorial Weekend Tournament, enthusiastically gave listeners the scoop on their respective events and how they impact tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast.

Needing a Bahamas fix after co-host Robin Hicks-Connors' recent excursion to San Salvador, Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin (aka Radio Man) took listeners on a Grand Bahama virtual vacation, just in time for the summer boating season. Gary covered the island from West End to McClean’s Town and everywhere in between. How to get there, where to stay, what to do, and more. Looking for the best conch salad or conch pizza, where to find bats in a cave, snorkeling hot spots near West End, world class diving with sharks, breakfast on the waterfront, great shopping and family fun? Grand Bahama, the closest island to the Treasure Coast, has it all. Go ahead, listen to last Friday’s show and enjoy a Grand Bahama virtual vacation and then head to the island!

Next up—chipped tooth, bad sunburn? No need to have these situations spoil your vacation. Robin provided the solution to these vacation downers.

Last, listeners learned what Grand Bahama notable recently inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Is she really the “Shark Whisperer”?

It was another fun and lively show. If you missed the fun, listen to it or download it HERE.

See you on Friday, a show that'll focus on National Travel and Tourism Week and more!

Enjoy your own virtual Grand Bahama Island vacation below!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Summer Tournament Fun, Travel Tips and Grand Bahama Island

Just as March is the turning point from winter to spring in South Florida, May is the turning point from spring to summer. Why? Because May is the start of the summer tournament fishing season! The Stuart Sailfish Club’s Ladies Tournament kicking off this weekend, followed by the Francis Langford Memorial Tournament the following weekend, and then the Treasure Coast Builders Association (TCBA) 25th Annual Memorial Weekend Fishing Tournament  (May 27th -29th), are the harbingers of summer fishing and boating fun on Florida’s Treasure Coast! 

This week, Jim Moore, the president of the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce, will be in the studio to talk up the activities and fun of the Francis Langford Memorial Fishing Tournament. This tournament uniquely combines an amateur event with a sanctioned SKA (Southern Kingfish Association) professional anglers event. According to tournament organizers, the Francis Langford Tournament is one of the most popular among the SKA competitions. 

The TCBA Memorial Weekend Tournament, one of the area's most popular tournaments, will be described by tournament co-chair George Cooper and TCBA staffer Maddie Williams. This year, a special 25th Anniversary Special Category has been added for anglers pursuing blackfin tuna. Both tournaments have a significant impact on local tourism and listeners on Friday will find out why.

Additional topics this week will include a potpourri of tourism tips to make your vacation as trouble free as possible, including: How to treat a scorching sunburn, how to manage motion sickness, how to fix a chipped tooth and more. Even non-travelers can find use for these tips at home!

Next, we’ll also take you on a virtual vacation on Grand Bahama Island, the closest island to the Treasure Coast. Whether you reach Grand Bahama via cruise ship, commercial air carrier, private plane or boat, Grand Bahama Island has lots of great things to do for the adventurer or the family vacationer.

All this and more is in store for you this Friday at 10:05 a.m. on Talkin’ Tourism. Catch the show on WPSL 1590 AM or on your nearest computer streaming live at www.wpsltv.com.

Let the summer fun begin!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Operation Blue Suit, St. Lucie Inlet Update, and Romantic Beaches

If you have ever thought about spending time on a beautiful island surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, and one with fabulous fishing and world-class diving, after listening to Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks-Connor's first-hand account of her four-day Talkin’ Tourism “secret mission," you just might be on the phone now booking your own trip to San Salvador, Bahamas! Robin's mission was to see the island like a local, and by all accounts from Robin (and the very active coconut telegraph), she did that and probably a little more.

Listeners got to hear about Elvis, Peaches, Davey Crockett, Margonda, Hilton, Michelle and the great hospitality extended to Robin and her traveling cohort Lynn during their island getaway. Robin described the local night spot, the great local food, fabulous beaches and her personal tour of the island’s more remote areas. Her enthusiasm was off the hook (pun intended). Unfortunately, sea conditions were a bit uncooperative and she never encountered “the man in the blue suit” despite several attempts to visit his local haunts. Will Robin return for another try? We'll let you answer that question!

Other topics included a recap of the St. Lucie Inlet meeting on April 26 to discuss dredging and possible funding sources. Boaters from near and far, as well as those businesses who are impacted by the health of the marine industries, know this is a critical Treasure Coast, Florida issue. If you missed the meeting or last week's show, the audio file from last week's show will bring you up to speed.

Char Griggs, the executive director of the Stuart Sailfish Club, made a guest appearance on the show to share all the special details of this weekend's Stuart Sailfish Club Ladies Tournament. Will you be fishing? The weather is supposed to be great and rumor has it that History Lady is trying to field a team of ladies anglers. This Friday, we'll give you an update on any late-breaking tournament details.

Florida 2011 tourism numbers seem to be improving at a steady pace. Has that spread across the Gulf Stream to the Family Islands in the Bahamas? Talkin’ Tourism took a regional look and shared recent reports from the Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board’s recent survey of hotels and resorts, which indicate better days seem to be on the horizon. If you'd like to hear those details, it's all on last week's show audio file, which you can download here.

Last, but not least, listeners learned about five of Florida's top-rated beaches by category. If you missed it, no problem, we've got you covered. Here's the audio file from last week to find out where you may want to go this summer for a nearby romantic beach vacation.

'See you' on Friday!
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