Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coming to you LIVE from the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

This week's show, LIVE from the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
This year will mark the largest contingent of Bahamian hoteliers and marina operators ever to represent the country in a boat show. Other Bahamian organizations represented will be The Bahamas Out Island Promotions Board and the Marina Operators of The Bahamas. 

With the Islands of The Bahamas so close to South Florida, any efforts to improve marine tourism in the Bahamas impacts marine tourism in South Florida. The vast majority of boaters from all over the U.S. headed to the Bahamas pass through South Florida either upon departure or arrival back into the U.S.— meaning enhanced marine tourism for Florida. 

The Islands of The Bahamas is serious about cultivating and enhancing the marine tourism segment of its tourism product. The attractive specials that will be offered to show attendees were crafted following an expansive survey by The Bahamas Tourism Office. The findings of the survey plainly identified the type of incentive that would draw and motivate boaters to continue to visit The Bahamas. 

Confirmed guests for Friday's show include Earl Miller, General Manager Bahamas Tourist Office, Valery Brown, Sr. Director of Marketing, Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board, Stephen Kappeler, President, Marina Operators of the Bahamas, Chavonne Darville, President, Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board and a host of other Talkin' Tourism friends.

This show is definitely one Flahamians everywhere should not miss. See you Friday morning beginning at 10:05 a.m.. If on the Treasure Coast or Grand Bahama, tune your radio dial to WPSL 1590 AM; if elsewhere, point your computer's Internet browser to

Talkin’ Tourism tries to never miss a chance to be where the action is and this week we have definitely found the action. The 52nd annual Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, one of the largest boat shows in the world, begins this week (Thursday) and Talkin’ Tourism will be right in the thick of things! 

Broadcasting live from the media room at the Bahia Mar Hotel and Resort, this week’s edition will focus on the strong and vital marine connection between Florida and The Bahamas. 

According to Earl Miller, General Manager of The Bahamas Tourist Office in Plantation, Florida, “Our team has been working tirelessly towards the show and we are looking to garner maximum exposure and visibility towards luring more boats to the Bahamas. Boating is one of the most lucrative markets for The Bahamas and feeds all areas of the nation, especially the Out Islands."

Chart your course to The Bahamas

Official Boating and Fishing Map of The Bahamas now available

(October 25, 2001) FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA - The Marina Operators of the Bahamas working in collaboration with The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, and Focal Sun Oil as a key sponsor, are proud to be featured in the attached official Boating and Fishing Map of The Bahamas.

As stated by MOB President Steve Kappeler “This is the first generation map of its kind that will demonstrate in detail how easy it is to chart a course from the United States, in particular from Florida to The Bahamas”.

“As thousands of visitors attend the Boating Trade show, slated for October 27-31, 2011, the appeal of the map will highlight our close proximity and affordability that makes our destination the preferred choice for boaters”.

When one charts a course to The Bahamas, key factors such as the outstanding fishing, unique island culture, warm friendly Bahamian people, exciting history and multitude of adventure found only in the wealth of the Bahamian Islands are ones that makes yachting and island hopping a vacation dream come true.

He furthered “No other Caribbean Island nation can boast our pristine Out Islands that are truly green and eco-friendly. Boating and fishing in The Bahamas will put you in touch with nature, and the environment like nowhere else in this hemisphere. This map compliments our Sun-Sand & Sea, and will show even the novice boater how easy it is to get here.”

Free copies of these maps will soon be available only at member marinas of the MOB. 

For more information, email or call (242) 322-8381 or (242) 352-7849.

Greenways, 'Vision' for Grand Bahama and Educational Tourism

You never know what you are going to learn whether listening to the show or hosting the show! Curious about the East Coast Greenway project, we were thrilled that East Coast Greenway Alliance Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano was able to appear as a guest, and did we learn a lot!

Stretching nearly 3,000 miles from the Canadian border to Key West, Florida, the East Coast Greenway has been in development for nearly 20 years and is still going strong. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, Florida will contain the longest stretch when the project is fully completed. 

Proponents of the project have validated the Greenway’s economic contributions to tourism and have witnessed its popularity in the areas where the Greenway has been completed. Treasure Coast community and political leaders have been very supportive in assuring that this “urban Appalachian Trail” is a part of the Treasure Coast community’s fabric.

After "trail" talk, discussion moved on over to the Islands of The Bahamas. Understandably, airlift to an island destination is critical to its tourism product. An island does not live by the cruise industry alone! Call in guest, Bill Maloney, the director of business development for Vision Airlines, had a treasure chest of information about Vision Airline's new scheduled service to Freeport, Grand Bahama. 

It has been some time since such airlift was available to Grand Bahama from key U.S. market hubs. Vision Airline's introductory rates are fantastic and Bill promised that the carrier would provide the best rates and packages available. Such an effort could not have been accomplished without the support and assistance of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. This is terrific news for Grand Bahamians and those wishing to visit this Treasure Coast island neighbor.

Moving on to St. Lucie County, the County's “discovery” of education tourism became the focus. If you missed the discussion, be sure to listen to Talkin' Tourism's Greenways, 'Vision' for Grand Bahama and Educational Tourism show, and find out what it takes to “cash in” on this niche tourism market.

Thanks for tuning in. Join us again on Friday for another fun and informative show—this one live from the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Greenways, Educational Tourism, and Vision for Grand Bahama

Thanks to a head's up from the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Talkin’ Tourism learned leaders of the East Coast Greenway Alliance were planning to meet in Stuart this coming weekend on Saturday October 22. Not wanting to miss a great opportunity to inform our listeners about this project and its significant importance, we immediately invited an alliance spokesperson to appear on our show. With a quick call to East Coast Greenway Alliance member and friend of Martin County, Herb Hiller, the dots were connected and we are pleased to announce that Dennis Markatos-Soriano, East Coast Greenway Alliance executive director, will be our in-studio special guest this week. For those of you who might not know, the East Coast Greenway is the longest planned off-road, paved American trail that will connect 14 states between Calais, Maine and Key West, Florida. The Treasure Coast certainly does have a role in this unique project. More than 30 miles of the finished trail now partially link the Treasure Coast south from Sebastian Inlet of Jupiter. This will be a very informative conversation and most importantly, we'll explore how this may impact Treasure Coast tourism.

We have discussed the many facets of tourism on the show and one that has surfaced occasionally is educational tourism. Recently, tourism leaders in St. Lucie County have awakened to this potential source of visitors and their impact. We’ll discuss what St. Lucie County has discovered that perhaps has more impact than what most people may think.

The economy has certainly affected tourism numbers around the globe. The Islands of the Bahamas, a destination where tourism is the number industry, has been really feeling the impact of a slowed global economy in a large way. A new "player" is about to change that for our Treasure Coast neighbor, Grand Bahama Island. During the second half of the show, guest Bill Maloney, Director of Business Development for Vision Airlines will be calling in to share with us what Vision Airlines has in store regarding airlift service to Grand Bahama Island from a number of U.S. hubs and how they plan to make a huge difference in improving tourism numbers on Grand Bahama.

Join us again this week for another informative and fun show as Gary and Robin once again are Talkin’ Tourism!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pet travel and safety tips for motorists and motorcycle enthusiasts

Exotic bird expert Jason Shane with Gary Guertin.
 Pets were definitely the big topic on the show with Jason Shane, owner of Birds on Safari, as our special guest. With birds being one of the most popular pets in U.S. households, it was very interesting to learn what lengths Birds on Safari goes to ensure the feathered critters their customers board at the shop are made to feel “right at home” while the “bird parents” are off on a trip. From special diets to toys to time out of the cage, boarding pet birds is more of an art than a science. 

Jason with special guest co-host Ed Griffith.
Special guest co-host Ed Griffith
shared his motorcycle "history" this week
with listeners.
Are you considering taking your pet bird out of the country? In addition to “bird talk,” Gary and special guest host Ed Griffith shared some insights about what you should know about air travel with your pet. Did you know that some species of dogs and cats are definitely NOT suitable candidates for flying below cabin? And, do you know what questions you should ask your airline of choice before making arrangements to fly your beloved dog or cat? If not, you'll definitely want to listen to the October 14 edition of Talkin' Tourism.

Planning on cruising to the Bahamas this winter or spring? Well, it is pretty straight forward process if you want to take you dog or cat with you. We walked through the step-by-step process required by the Bahamian government to allow your pet to enjoy the Bahamas too. Here's the permit application link referenced during the show, and here's The Island of the Bahamas Importation of Pets link with more information.

After the "pet talk," discussion moved on to Biketober Fest. Thanks to AAA Auto Club South, we shared some safety tips for motorists and motorcycle enthusiasts, as well as details on Biketober Fest, which just finished up in Daytona Beach, Florida.

For locals, as well as folks planning to visit the Treasure Coast over the next several months, there are a host of great events coming up--from air shows and Pineapple Festivals to those celebrating the Treasure Coast's bootlegging and Florida Cracker history, and Talkin’ Tourism covered them all. 

Don't forget we invite listener submissions so send us your travel related photos, videos and reviews so that we can share them here on our blog or on the Talkin' Tourism Facebook page.

See you on Friday morning for another edutaining tourism filled hour!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

From parrots, dogs and cats to motorcycle mamas!

Biker Bird Squawker!
Photo courtesy of Mr T in
Millions of people travel each year whether for business or leisure purposes. We also know that millions of people have pets of all kinds. So, what are the options for pet care when you are away? To put pet ownership into perspective let's look at a few numbers. The top five pets in the world are cats, dogs, fish, small mammals and birds. The average number of such critters in U.S. households are; 2.45 cats, 1.70 dogs, 12.86 fish, 3.0 small mammals and 2.5 birds.

Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin (aka 'Radio Man') and his wife Misti, having five Amazon parrots in their household and as well as having traveled with their flock to the Caribbean, thought this topic of "pet travel" and "planning for your pets when you travel" would be of interest to Talkin’ Tourism listeners. After all, pets are an important part of our families.

Jason Shane, owner of Birds on Safari will be joining Gary and Robin to share his expertise on all of the various options available to pet owners for the care of their pets when having to travel. Many people also have the need to travel with their pets. Whether it is a road trip, boat trip or by air, there are many tips that can make the trip easy on the pet as well as the pet owner.

October brings pumpkins, goblins, a change in weather and an annual event many enjoy here in Florida:   Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach, Florida. This international award-winning event attracts motorcycle enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada. And, it was designated a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event for October in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007. Event promoters expect 125,000 riders this year. WOW! With this influx of motorcycle enthusiasts, AAA Auto Club South has provided some great statistics about motorcycle safety that all of us should all be aware of and we'll covering on the show.

From birds, dogs and cats to motorcycles, local events and happenings, once again we have an informative and fun show in store.

See you Friday morning at 10:05 on WPSL 1590 AM or

Here's a real life Biker Bird we thought you might enjoy viewing. Warning: some language may not be suitable for general audiences.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tourism professional takes tourist role and shares African adventure

It is not every day that you get to hear about what a trip to Kenya, Africa is like, especially from the perspective of a travel and tourism professional. Despite spending ten days in the wilds of Africa, the tourism product itself was amazingly polished according to adventurer and executive director of the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau Rozeta Mahboubi. With visitors from all over the world traveling to see the wonders of the African wilderness, it was truly amazing how professional the experience was orchestrated. Rozeta’s recap was very enlightening especially with regards to the recognition of the importance of tourism to the country’s economy. They do not take tourism for granted!

As always, tourism has a political side, especially when there are funds involved. While the Florida legislative session is still months away, there is already much chatter about important issues the tourism industry will face. Two returning issues include the amount of tourism tax (or lack of) paid by online reservation services, and whether Visit Florida will remain intact as the State of Florida’s tourism promotional entity.

Needing a little 'island time' Robin, Gary and Rozeta remarked about how similar the Treasure Coast is with its many waterways and cool waterfront watering holes to exotic island destinations around the globe. That led to a lively conversation about some of the group's favorites and why. Was your favorite mentioned? Is there one (or more) you haven't yet explored?  Pour yourself a cold one, tune in to last Friday’s show and take a mini-vacation right here on Talkin’ Tourism. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tourism legislation issues, an African safari & cool beach bars

While over the last several months we have had Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Rozeta Mahboubi and St. Lucie County Tourism Development Council manager Charlotte Lombard as guests, it has been quite some time since we had them in the studio at the same time! With their schedules, that is a near impossibility! However, this week we got lucky.

There are always various legislative issues on the horizon that can impact tourism initiatives (some good and some not so good). Charlotte and Rozeta will share with us what may be in store for the coming year. Also, as we have mentioned time and again, the collaboration of tourism leaders in destination regions adds to the power of promotion. These two tourism leader do practice what they preach. So, with the winter tourist season just around the corner, what can the Treasure Coast expect in the months to come?

How about a side trip to Africa? Well, not long ago, Rozeta went on safari for a change of pace. When she returned, she was overflowing with how well she was treated as a visitor and how expertly the locals catered to her every need. What was different in this equation was Rozeta traveled as a single person,  and a woman. Her insights were fascinating enough to warrant discussion on this week's show.

Sometimes you just can't get to “the islands” as often as you would like. Right? Well on the Treasure Coast, we are blessed with many local waterfront bars and restaurants that can provide a “quick fix” for island yearnings. The Talkin’ Tourism crew will share some of their personal favorites with you. If you've got one or more, email us your list!

With all the fun in store, this is a show you won't want to miss. See you Friday, 10:05 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM or from Sailfish Marina for another edition of Talkin’ Tourism.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Indiantown rodeo, history, and updates

Allon Fish with Talkin' Tourism co-host Robin Hicks Connors.
After being on the road for two shows it was really good to be back in the Sailfish Marina studio. Our special guest Allon Fish from the Western Martin County/Indiantown Chamber of Commerce was no “fish out of water!" It had been some time since Talkin’ Tourism had caught up with Allon so it was a great reunion.

Allon was kind enough to provide listeners with some history of the Indiantown Rodeo, which helped put the upcoming event into perspective. One thing that is great about tourism in all its forms is that it always encompasses history one way or the other, much to the pleasure of Talkin’ Tourism's own History Lady.

There is a great deal of community support for the revival of the rodeo and it will definitely have strong tourism impact "out west”. Allon also shared other great initiatives happening in Indiantown. If you missed the show, grab your chaps and boots (speaking of chaps, we heard Seacoast National Bank--a sponsor of the rodeo---had a spectacular pair) and listen to the show here

Other topics covered included updates on regional and local events, St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Friendly program, the Martin County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s contract renewal, and lots more.

Thanks for tuning in! We love our Talkin' Tourism fans!
}, 10);