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!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

PADI travel incentives and a Segway adventure full of sea life

Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks-Connors with
PADI reservation specialist Lori Lacknicht.
True to her word, PADI reservation specialist Lori Lachnicht was a wealth of knowledge about the booming recreational dive industry and the role PADI plays in making every dive enthusiast’s wildest dream come true. From information on the Treasure Coast dive scene (History Lady also had a few things to add about diving historical wrecks in the area) to the diversity of diving opportunities within Florida to magnificent destinations in the Islands of the Bahamas and beyond, Lori covered it all.

Listeners who listened to Friday's show learned what special incentives are available to divers wishing to head to the Bahamas? If you missed Friday's show, listen to it now and you will be ready to pack your mask fins and snorkels. 

There are advantages to booking your trip through a PADI professional. A little rusty on your skills? Not a problem. Lori told our listeners how to get back in the game. Thanks Lori, the information was fabulous. Let’s go blow some bubbles!

Thinking about coming to Florida’s Treasure Coast for a little break? There are lots of events and activities going on this fall just right for the whole family. Ever taken a Segway Tour? Check out the show and find out where you can Segway your way to stingrays, sea turtles and edutainment on Hutchinson Island. 

Last but not least, if you are headed to The Abacos, Radio Man shared information on a great vacation cottage offering a special discount to Talkin’ Tourism fans and listeners. Here's the audio file so you can to learn more about this Abaco, Bahamas vacation opportunity.

Thanks for tuning in. See you on Friday with another action-packed show.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Diving vacations both near and far

This week, Lori Lachnict from the PADI travel
network. Tune in to learn "The Way the World Learns to Dive."
Over the past decade, the sport of SCUBA diving has become a huge form of recreation and of course a significant portion of the tourism industry. Florida, the Islands of the Bahamas and the Caribbean are destination meccas for many who seek the beauty and uniqueness of the undersea world. From snorkeling and shallow water dives to more advanced diving experiences, the industry continues to grow at an amazing pace. Since the invention of the Aqua-Lung by Jacques Cousteau in 1943 and the wetsuit by George Beuchat in 1953, subsequent years led to a revolution in recreational diving. However, for much of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, scuba diving was a sport limited to those who were able to afford or make their own kit and prepared to undergo intensive training to use it. No so today!

This week’s guest, Ms. Lori Lachnicht, reservation specialist for PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), will be in the studio to share with listeners the latest and greatest on this popular activity. Lori has a long history in the industry. In addition to owning her own travel operation—Bahamas Out Island Travel, she has served as the U.S. office for Brendal’s Dive Center, Abaco; Art Pickering’s Provo Turtle Divers in the Turks and Caicos; Hightide Watersports in Barbados; and Aquanauts Dive in Grenada. She also was a Caribbean marketing representative for Skin Diver Magazine.

Whether you are an avid diver or just thinking about getting into the sport, Lori should be a wealth of knowledge.

Radio Man and History Lady will also certainly have other topics of tourism interest, the scoop on upcoming Treasure Coast events, and a whole lot more travel and tourism nuggets you won't want to miss!

See you Friday morning at 10:05 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or from Sailfish Marina!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fall travel, here we come!

Where did you spend your Labor Day?
Labor Day 2011 is now behind us and we're ready for fall travel and fun!

Since this was a holiday weekend, show hosts Gary Guertin and Robin Hicks-Connors decided to take a holiday from having an in-studio guest and covered a wide range of vacation based factoids. These included: National Geographic’s Free to See in the U.S. list, special pet friendly amenities available in some southern California hotels and restaurants, and Frommer's top places in the Caribbean to get away from it all. Gary and Robin covered a lot of ground and had a fun time rolling through their "lists."

Listeners also received a Bahamas update. Although Hurricane Irene ran her course through the Islands of the Bahamas just a week and several days ago (seems longer),  through the Flahama Coconut Telegraph and connections with Coastal Angler Magazine-FlahamaTalkin’ Tourism provided island-by-island post-storm updates. Despite Irene's wrath, the Bahamas have recovered remarkably well and are definitely “open for business." Gary highlighted the great effort put forth by all Bahamians to get things in order as quickly as possible. Go, Visit the Bahamas!

As always, thanks for tuning into the show! If there are any special topics you would like for us to consider for the show, let us know by sending your suggestion to

For those of you who like to listen again and again (or those who missed the show), here the audio file to the September 2 Labor Day Holiday edition of Talkin' Tourism! Enjoy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labor Day diversions, travel myths, and goodbye summer

Labor Day Weekend marks the traditional end of summer. Students will be returning to school (and are already in school in Florida), many people will be taking their last big trip of the summer, in the Northeast, summer cottages will begin closing up and thoughts change toward autumn activities (football).

Radio Man and History Lady thought that this would be a good week to fly solo without a special guest and get caught up on Talkin’ Tourism notes accumulated over the summer that never quite made it on air.

So, what are some of the topics of conversation for the show?
We will also share with our listeners the status of various resorts and marina facilities in the Bahamas post Hurricane Irene. Yes, folks the Islands of the Bahamas are definitely open for business!

All in all it is a remarkable recovery and we will talk about how the Islands of the Bahamas dealt with this terrible storm and got things together post Irene.

Thanks for joining us again this week as we roll from the 'Good Ol’ Summertime' toward an new and busy tourist season, which will be here before we know it!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to protect your identity when traveling and how Social Media helped travelers (and others) during Hurricane Irene

Earthquake in Virginia, Hurricane Irene blasting through the Islands of the Bahamas headed for the U.S. mainland, man—what a crazy week it was for tourism!

The most recent episode of Talkin' Tourism took a slight turn from the norm (whatever that may be). With Irene just completing her run through the entire Bahamas archipelago the day before show time, a good portion of the show was devoted to getting our listeners up to speed with the state of affairs in this major tourism region. After all, Talkin’ Tourism is 'Radio Free Flahama!'

Despite the enormous threat of Irene, the Bahamas did very well overall and there was lots of good news to share. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all Bahamians for having to experience such a severe storm.

As a special guest, Talkin’ Tourism co-producer and president of Misti Guertin Public Relations, Misti Guertin, was in the studio explaining the major improvement in disaster communications today versus what existed during 1999 with Hurricane Floyd, which nearly took the same path as Irene. During Irene, social media in all its forms allowed persons to communicate specific situations and provide nearly real-time updates much faster than a decade ago. This has made a huge difference in being able to cope during such challenging times. Lots of people who are on Facebook and Twitter now have many more friends and followers than they did before the storm.

Last, Mike Prusinski, the senior vice president of communications for the identity theft prevention company LifeLock called in from their Tempe, Arizona headquarters to advise our listeners how to best prevent identity theft. Identity theft perpetrators are becoming more and more sophisticated and you need to know how to protect yourself. Hi-tech can now be hi-crime.

Unfortunately, WPSL had an equipment malfunction while recording the show, resulting in this episode's audio track being lost. So if you missed the show, you really missed the show. Bummer. We've provided links to LifeLock so that you can learn more about identify theft prevention. Also, your local AAA Travel Club South office should also be able to provide more information.

See you on Friday with another information-filled and entertaining hour of Talkin' Tourism!

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