Monday, August 22, 2011

Competing with the 'Big Boy's of Tourism' and a long-time street festival goes back to it roots

In the studio to talk tourism this week were Rozeta Mahboubi,
Ron Hart, Amber Ducote and show host Gary Guertin.
This week’s show was a reconnect with the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau to learn what tourism promotional efforts are currently on going in Talkin’ Tourism’s hometown of Stuart, Florida. Featured guest Rozeta Mahboubi, the executive director of the Martin County, Florida Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), gave listeners an overview of the strategies and tactics this small county is using to attract its share of visitors.

Yes, smaller destinations can compete with the 'big boys' and often times, having a major destination in your backyard can actually help!  Rozeta’s strategies and thoughts do make sense. With a successful four year track record to its credit, the Martin County Tourism Development Committee (TDC) (which oversees the distribution of bed tax funds), recently and enthusiastically gave its continued support to the Martin County CVB.  In a time when competition for funding is always keen, it was great to hear that Rozeta and her CVB staff were recognized for their efforts. Rozeta also shared what new successes the CVB achieved through the TDC’s support.

So who is the self-appointed Cultural Ambassador to Downtown Stuart?  Why none other than Ron Hart, vice-president of the Downtown Business Association.  Ron and Tara Biek Creative account executive Amber Ducote were on hand to share the excitement of the upcoming Dancin’ in the Streets.  A Stuart tradition for nearly 25 years, this event has gone back to its roots. What exactly does that mean? Well, those who listened in last week heard the run down. If you missed the show, you can still find out! Just download the August 19 show!  This group is also already working on the funding for next year’s Fourth of July festivities. Talkin’ Tourism host Gary Guertin also posed the question of whether or not these local events helped the off-season tourism effort. Ron and Amber both responded with some pretty strong positive feedback.

Other topics of conversation circled around the airline that will be increasing airlift to the Out Islands of the Bahamas in the near future, and a 'fish story' ending in The Bahamas, which involved the recent catch of a 927 pound marlin in Bermuda. Trying to connect those dots? Check out last week's Talkin' Tourism and all will make perfect sense!

Thanks for listening to us live or checking us out on this blog…we love talking tourism!

Friday, August 19, 2011

This week: Promoting smaller destination and Dancin' in the Streets (of Stuart)!

There are many smaller destinations around the State of Florida and the U.S. that have to compete with better known, larger and established visitor destinations.  It would almost seem to be a David and Goliath type of situation.  Nevertheless, there are many smaller destinations that do relatively well in their market area despite being in the shadows of giants.  Stuart/Martin County, Florida, the home town of Talkin’ Tourism is one such destination with only 1,700 “beds." 

Recently, the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), the organization contracted by the Martin County Tourism Development Council (overseer of the tourism dollars raised via the hotel tax), conducted a workshop that heavily influenced the CVB’s abillity to do (or not do, depending on what side of the fence you sit) the job properly. It would appear that the workshop was a success in the eyes of CVB executive director Rozeta Mahboubi.  This week Rozeta will be our guest and will talk about how she markets and promotes a smaller destination and what items approved in the work shop will help her achieve the community's goals.  It should make for a lively and informative conversation!  It will be like sitting in on “Tourism 101”.

Also joining Talkin’ Tourism this week will be Amber Ducote, account executive at Tara Biek Creative, and Ron Hart, owner of Earthtones in Downtown Stuart.  Amber and Ron serve on the committee that has organized and revamped the nearly 25 year old end of summer event--Dancing in the Street. So what has changed?  Has it gone back to its roots?  Another side bar conversation will explore whether or not these local community events help promote tourism and overnight stays.

Radio Man and History Lady always explore some aspect of the Bahamas and/or the Caribbean and upcoming regional activities, and they always throw in a few surprises. Catch the show on your radio dial at 1590 AM locally or click on for the live stream from anywhere in the world because, we will be Talkin’ Tourism---every Friday at 10:05 a.m.!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Airport TIKI's, FBO's and what's ahead for St. Lucie County International Airport

Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin, airport manager
Todd Cox, show co-host Robin Hicks-Connors,
St. Lucie County Tourism Manager Charlotte Lombard,
and APP Jet Center manager Chris Hambleton.
Hitting the road for a short drive north on U.S. Highway 1 to do the show from the St. Lucie County International Airport was a fun excursion.  St. Lucie County Tourism Manager Charlotte Lombard had tipped off Talkin’ Tourism that the airport terminal, as well as the US Customs and Border Protection facility, were set for a remodel.  When Radio Man arrived, airport manager Todd Cox along with Chris Hambleton, manager of APP Jet Center, were ready and waiting. Thanks for the great St. Lucie County hospitality!

Todd set the stage by providing some historical background and general information about the airport. Questions before making the trip were is the airport big, and if yes, how big? Surprisingly, the St. Lucie County International Airport is actually larger in land mass than Miami International! WOW! Although it is an “international airport” there is no regularly scheduled commercial service. Show discussion revealed why there isn't regularly scheduled service and what exactly the remodel is that Charlotte tipped us off to.

FBO’s—what are they?  Listeners found out that airports, just like truck stops and rest areas on highways, must provide service to their customers (people and aircraft). Chris Hambleton, APP Jet Center manager, gave a great overview on what FBO's actually do. In addition, he revealed St. Lucie County International Airport also has a great breakfast and lunch restaurant called the Airport TIKI, which is very popular with the locals. Table for two with a window view please! 

Charlotte Lombard, St. Lucie County Tourism manager, gave her views on the tourism impacts the remodel will have. This is especially important because tourism bed tax dollars are being used. It is truly amazing how many visitors access the Treasure Coast via private and general aviation, which is another important part of the tourism industry.

Regional upcoming events, This Week in History, Grand Bahama Island’s  Top 10 Restaurants as rated by TripAdvisor, and more rounded out the show.

If you missed the live broadcast, grab a paper airplane, sit back, click on the show's audio file, and get ready to learn all about the St. Lucie County International Airport, FBO's and other aviation tidbits. If you're not from the Treasure Coast, you can learn more about visiting St. Lucie County here. And, last, if you've never visited the airport, check out the slide show below to see a few clips Gary snagged after the show.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer fishing, tropical vacations and why hurricanes may be a positive for your travel plans

Show guest David Mills with guest co-host Ed Killer.
It was definitely a guys day in the studio this week. Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks-Connors was in Washington, D.C. visiting with friends and doing a little sightseeing on her traditional mid-summer getaway.  So, with Robin gone, host Gary Guertin, special guest co-host Ed Killer and Stuart Sailfish Club's David Mills did lots of chatting about what’s happening and what’s being caught fishing-wise in Treasure Coast waters this summer. 

Thanks to Capt. Pat Price of DayMaker Charters, listeners heard the fishing is still fantastic along the Treasure Coast even during the dog days of summer.  Capt. Price shared the sailfish bite is still strong and mahi-mahi, wahoo and the ever present blackfin tuna will keep anglers busy and their fish coolers full. 

'The boys' also covered reef fishing, where anglers can catch several types of grouper and snapper, sea bass, cobia and triggerfish—all very tasty and fun to catch. 

Next topic was summer and early fall low priced travel, including the pros and cons of risking a trip to a venue in the tropics (or sub-tropics) during hurricane season. Gary and Ed shared some fist-hand experiences, as well as a number of tips and precautions to take the edge out of planning such a trip.  Some of these included travel insurance and what islands have the lowest chance of hurricanes to suggestions about registering with the local U.S. Embassy in the country you are visiting.

Gary also introduced a Miami hotel (Sole on the Ocean) that is celebrating hurricane season with a slate of promotions, each pegged to a specific storm name. If you, a friend, or family member shares the name of an active storm on the 2011 hurricane list, you just might want to 'hunker down' and listen to this week's show to find out how this might benefit Miami travel plans.

Most kids LOVE to fish and if you have a youngster who falls into this group, there is still time to register for the 34th Annual Stuart Sailfish Club’s Jr. Angler’s Tournament.  David Mills, a committee member and secretary of the club, gave Talkin' Tourism listeners an update on the tournament's new dates, which was postponed when Tropical Storm Emily was wandering the Atlantic. David also shared why this annual tournament it is so much fun for the kids (and adults as well).

We love our listeners and fans, we always have fun doing the show, and we hope you had fun listening in!

See you on Friday, August12, this time from St. Lucie County, for another fact-and-fun-filled show on what's happening in tourism both near and far!

Here's the show file for those who missed it or want to listen again.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Travel during hurricane season? Bah! We're not afraid of no storm! Good travel deals to be found!

A man exercises on the Santo Domingo waterfront before
the arrival of Tropical Storm Emily to the Dominican Republic.
Just as Radio Man began to ponder thoughts on this Friday’s show, a pesky tropical disturbance in the lower latitudes turned into Tropical Storm Emily. With many Treasure Coast sport fishermen in the Bahamas, a friend vacationing in the British Virgin Islands, Talkin’ Tourism co-producer Misti headed off to the island of Andros for a speaking engagement, it quickly became apparent that travel to the Caribbean during hurricane season (and the wisdom of traveling during 'storm season') had to be on the agenda.

Summer is the “off season” in the Caribbean and it is also hurricane season. But, that is the time when many properties offer their lowest rates and added values. The temperature is not a factor as the average daytime high temperature in the lower latitudes rises only 5-to-6 degrees from winter to summer, the humidity is less than South Florida, and the resorts are less crowded. So, what are the risks? Are there steps you can take to make sure that a storm (or the threat of a hurricane) doesn’t dampen your Caribbean summer travels? Yes there are and this week Talkin’ Tourism will share this information (and love of the Caribbean) with our listeners.

Next up this week:  How is the fishing during the summer on Florida’s Treasure Coasts? Can you still catch a sailfish? Are the dolphin biting? Talkin’ Tourism wants to know and so do you. Special guest co-host Ed Killer will be filling History Lady’s seat this week. Ed is a very well-known freelance fishing and boating writer, contributor to Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers and many other outdoor publications.

Sharing his fishing knowledge with Ed and Gary will be tournament winning Captain Pat Price, owner of DayMaker Charters based in Jensen Beach, Florida. Now here’s the catch:  if the weather holds, Capt. Pat will be fishing and will call the studio. If the weather is bad and not “fishable” (guess why), Captain Pat will join us in our Sailfish Marina studio.

Tune us in on WPSL 1590 AM locally or catch the live stream at and we’ll be Talkin’ Tourism!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Arts tourism and those dreaded (and often hilarious) Americanisms

Summer arts were in the air with Nancy Turrell, executive director of The Arts Council, this week in the studio. As always, she was not at a loss for words in describing what's happening in the local and regional arts world.

Kicking off the hour, in addition to Nancy describing a sizzling summer Bahamian themed arts event coming up in a couple of weeks at Harbour Bay Plaza, she also brought listeners up to date on the latest news from The Arts Council and all the other arts events slated from mid-summer through autumn.

The real fascination for Talkin' Tourism hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors was exploring the huge economic impact arts and cultural tourism have on the economy. Whether a small town, regional destination, state or country, arts tourism is certainly an economic engine.  As a matter of fact, it has been demonstrated that everyone in a community benefits from a strong arts and cultural commitment, resident and visitor alike.

After "arts and economics class," Robin and Gary ran down a list of money saving tips for those who fly, as well as suggestions (from a Brit’s point-of-view) on Americanisms and why they are potentially irritating. Here are a few samples: use of the word deplane rather than disembark; fanny pack; I’m good for I’m well; takeout rather than takeaway; and having an issue instead of a problem. You get the idea. Some of the Americanisms were downright funny, and others a little scary!

And, as always Gary and Robin ran down a list of events you might want to place on your calendar and Robin's standing "This Week in History" segment.

Here's the audio file for downloading. Enjoy and as always, we're interested in your comments, show topics, and suggestions for remote broadcasts!
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