Evolution of the Show

‘Radio-Free Flahama™’ is alive and well

When the concept for Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’ Treasure Coast (and Beyond!) was developed, its creator, Gary Guertin, didn’t realize how a radio show discussing tourism across Florida would go international in a very short period of time and attract listeners from around the world. Well, it has and through the combination of an active blog site, photo and video galleries, the show is being listened to live, downloaded and hyped in locations around the globe.

The inaugural show of Talkin’ Tourism on the Treasure Coast, which airs live every Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on WPSL 1590 AM, launched in January 2009. The show, originally produced by Harborage Yacht Club and Marina, is now produced by Guertin and his wife, Misti, who are the “ambassadors” of “The Great State of Mind,” Flahama™.

Original Plans

Hosted by Guertin and co-hosted by the Historical Society of Martin County’s chief executive officer/president Robin Hicks-Connors, the duo’s original plan to talk up tourism on the Treasure Coast and across Florida quickly evolved to include destinations outside of the United States.

While the show airs live in the Treasure Coast market, the show’s companion blog has allowed listeners from around the world to download and listen to past shows, as well as view photographs and video of show guests and ‘adventures’ of the Talkin’ Tourism on-air personalities.

Every week, Guertin and Hicks-Connors interview guests representing all sectors of the hospitality industry—arts and culture, hotels, restaurants, eco-adventures, equestrian, film productions—and yes, boating and fishing. Guertin claims the diversity of guests helps to educate the show’s listeners on the immense range of activities and businesses that make up and impact tourism.

Going International

In June of 2009, Guertin decided a summer vacation wouldn’t pre-empt his programming—he’d simply take the show on the ‘road.’ Talkin’ Tourism’s first live-remote show broadcasted from West End, Tortola. This was a huge step forward since it proved the show could be taken on the road or the sea.

Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond!) has become the ‘Radio-Free-Flahama™’ for those who enjoy the best of Florida and the islands of the Bahamas. The show connects the two countries via the air waves, just as the Gulf Stream also connects the two nations.

Since the technology exists to take the show on the road or sea, Guertin has recently embarked on a campaign to conduct live remote broadcasts from the islands of the Bahamas in an effort to promote the spirit of tourism collaboration between the two destinations.

The first Bahamas remote was conducted on June 26, 2009 from the Pelican Bay Hotel at Lucaya. It was extremely well received by listeners on the Treasure Coast and listeners on the world-wide web. Since that, shows have been done from Marsh Harbour and Eleuthera, with multiple shows from Bimini, Green Turtle Cay, Grand Bahama, and the British Virgin Islands. There are over 700 islands in the Bahamas and Gary's dream is to broadcast a show from every one of them!

Guertin’s concept has become popular on both sides of the ‘Stream.’ You might be surprised to learn that Talkin’ Tourism on Florida’s Treasure Coast (and Beyond!) can be heard on the airwaves in Grand Bahama. Funny how the waves help connect the Flahama™ brethren.

Tune into ‘Radio-Free Flahama™’ on Friday’s at 10 a.m. via WPSL 1590 AM or download the shows on the companion blog or via the iTunes Store.

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