27 December 2011

One million visitors to Turks and Caicos?

Consider the Butler Tourism Area Life Cycle Model.

See my post.

Aided by a deep harbour on Grand Turk, one million visitors has a tremendous impact obn the island.

I mean, who will sell those t-shirts made in Malaysia, right?

Given the current economic conditions, one million folks is pretty impressive, but is is sustainable?

17 December 2011

Should be grading papers, but ...

Instead went hiking up at the Appalachian Mountain Club's Noble View property.

A bit cooler than two weeks ago, when we hiked in Chester, we even saw some flakes for a few moments.

The picture shows Big Pitcher Falls.

16 December 2011

Islands of the World Conference XII

Coming soon to BVI, is the Islands of the World Conference. For more information, please visit http://www.hlscc.edu.vg/islandsxii/

"Globalisation: Islands Adapting to Change"
29 May – 1 June, 2012
The Virgin Islands (BVI)

Sounds pretty nice, eh?

08 December 2011

U.S. International Travel for First Half 2011

From TI News:

The U.S. citizen outbound market totaled 28.2 million travelers for the first six months of 2011.
Overseas markets held a 47 percent share of all U.S. outbound international travel.
  • U.S. travel to Europe was 5.2 million visitors, with an 18 percent share;
  • Asia was 2.0 million, with a seven percent share;
  • Caribbean was 3.2 million, with an 11 percent share;
  • South America was 810,000, with a three percent share;
  • Central America was 1.1 million, with a four percent share;
  • Middle East was 665,000, with a two percent share;
  • Oceania was 249,000, with a one percent share; and
  • Africa was 175,000, with a one percent share.

04 December 2011

Lesser Known Waterfalls of Massachusetts

I shot this picture will hiking the H. Newman Marsh Memorial Trail in the Chester-Blandford State Forest yesterday. It is a great looking waterfall that is found east of the more famous Sanderson Falls along this trail. There are several "vista" along the loop trail found on the top of the 500 foot or so climb.

Check it out and visit the Commonwealth's page.

If you check this area out on Google Earth, over Huntington, to the east, you can see a jet airline heading toward the Northwest!

02 December 2011

NERR 2012 new venue

2012 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium

Sunday, April 1 - Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New location for 2012: The Otesaga Resort and Conference Center, Cooperstown, NY

for information visit this site.

26 November 2011

Annual Appalachian Trail monitoring

Spent a few hours off trail in the Appalachian Trail Corridor yesterday. Needed to burn off that Thanksgiving Turkey and boy, I sure did. Bushwhacking through hill and dale, swamp and brush was fun. The weather was great too.

To learn more about the AT Monitoring project, visit this site.

15 November 2011

four thousand plus views in Panoramio

A couple years ago I started archiving my pictures on Panoramio and linking them to Google Earth. In part is has been a private task of highlighting some of my travels, but I have found that it also provides a quick and easy way to grab a photo for some teaching need.

I mean, PowerPoints can be dull, and what better way to liven up the presentation than to display some picture. Any way, this picture of Neptune's Rock, Puerto Plata is nothing special, but I suspect it has achieved 4000 + views is based on the location in the Dominican Republic.

See for yourself at this link.

11 November 2011

Clarksville Cave, NY

I asked my friend Mike to lead a trip to the Clarksville Cave in NY and today, we ventured over to it (about 2 hours west of us). An expedition of 6 took on the fun challenge, and all survived!

Visit this site for more info on the Clarksville Cave.

" Clarksville cave is a popular horizontal cave in Albany County, NY. With about 4800 feet of passage and three entrances, Clarksville is surely the best-known and most-visited wild cave in the Northeast.
The cave is open from 7AM to 11PM to the general public. The preserve includes a changing area and informational kiosk."

10 November 2011

U.S. Travel Abroad Declined Two Percent in 2010

The overall U.S. outbound market totaled 60.3 million in 2010, down two percent compared to 2009. Travel to overseas regions declined* six percent, while travel to Mexico and Canada were up three percent and one percent, respectively.

The top five destination countries in 2010 for U.S. visitors were: Mexico (20.0 million), Canada (11.7 million), the United Kingdom (2.4 million), Dominican Republic (1.8 million), France and Italy (both 1.8 million). Six of the top 10 destinations visited by U.S. travelers posted increases in 2010. PRC moved ahead of Japan as the most visited Asian country.

For details, see:

09 November 2011

Free Webinar on Teaching Outdoors

Green Teacher 2011 Webinar Series

Dr. Brad Daniel of Montreat College will help participants become better outdoor educators by presenting a variety of mistakes made by those who teach in the outdoors. After a short video illustrating many of these mistakes, a comprehensive list will be compiled and solutions to each one will be presented and discussed.

03 November 2011

Free National Parks next weekend

In celebration of Veterans Day, there will be no admission fees at National Parks or at Bureau of Land Management areas from November 11-13, 2011.

So if you need a break from clearing the broken trees off your property, head on out to the Parks. Find one close to home by visiting this link.

02 November 2011

Crazy Halloween Wx

Freaky nor'easter hits us this past Saturday dumping up to 2 feet of wet white stuff on trees with leaves.

Typical snow hits New England later in November after the fall foliage season. Well, I am looking at my yard right now, trees with green leaves, snow on the ground and a mountain of branches scattered around the property.

IMHO this is worse than Hurricane Irene or the 1 June 2011 tornado.

We have it pretty bad. Three hundred thousand homes and businesses still without power. Westfield State University is closed for the week (yippee), and that gives me the time to catch up on school work in between cleaning up the yard.

Since many gas stations are without power, lines of impatient drivers remind me of the gas crisis days of the Seventies and early Eighties.

Who needs to go to the gym when you got a yard.

27 October 2011

The Crawling Eye

This is the kind of film that makes your jaw drop! Anyway, showed this bad boy to my students this evening for the annual 16mm Halloween Movie and Food Drive. Collected some 6 boxes of food that I'll take to the local Food Pantry tomorrow.

The students had a break from studying for midterms (yeah, right), and we collected food to help those who need a little extra.

23 October 2011

Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium

The call for papers is out for NERR 2012. See their website. for details.

2012 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium
The Sagamore Resort on Lake George
Bolton Landing, NY
Sunday, April 1 - Tuesday, April 3, 2012


December 2 , 2011 One page abstract must be received via the abstract submission website by this date.
January 23, 2012 Notification of acceptance.
February 10, 2012 Preliminary schedule (without presentation times) posted on website
TBA Full schedule (including presentation times) posted on website.

17 October 2011

GIS day and Leisure

I wonder how many GIS Day programs will have a recreation or tourism theme?

Let me know.

15 October 2011

Southeastern Recreation Research Conference

34th Annual
Southeastern Recreation Research Conference
February 26th – February 28th 2012
Auburn, Alabama

See the website for more information.

I presented at this conference as a grad student back in the 80's and it was a great experience.

10 October 2011

November 13-19, 2011 - Geography: The Adventure in Your Community

The annual Geography Awareness Week is fast approaching. See the website for details MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Always fun and certainly educational, spread the word around the community this year.

05 October 2011

RTS Papers for AAG due 13 October

There is still time to submit an abstract for next year's AAG meeting in NYC. See the RTS page at (http://www.geog.nau.edu/rts/index.html) for details.

29 September 2011

sustainable tourism in this economy?

I got this kind of question this week after a lecture on Sustainable Tourism. I had raised the point that changing demographics in our future, where besides getting older, the divide between the "haves" and "havenots" is getting bigger. I tried to suggest the need for a living wage for workers.

The MBA student asked how can we afford this in the poor economy.

I answered that it is an investment in the future.

Maybe, I should have suggested that he watch "Wall Street".

21 September 2011

How Sustainable are the Pioneer Valley Restaurants

We'll find out, since my students are administering a questionnaire to a sample of restaurants in the Pioneer Valley. Stay tuned.

19 September 2011

Air Canada Flight Attendants may Strike

Bummer for travelers, but from I have read, the workers are concerned about retirement packages. Benefits are threatened in the poor economy right now.

Let's hope that fair and thoughtful negotiations move us all forward.

18 September 2011

Recreation, Tourism and Sport papers at the AAG

Next February at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in NYC, you can find these sessions:

Proposed RTS Sessions

1. "When 'the Rest' enters'the West': (Re-)Negotiating identities in touristic settings". Sybille Frank

2. Developing tourism by indigenous people in indigenous areas and challenges. Anne-Marie d'Hauteserre

3. Managing ethical consumption in tourism: Compromise and tension. Karla Boluk and Clare Weeden

4. (Im)mobilities of dwelling: Places and Practices. Sybille Frank, Lars meier & Silke Steets

5. Film/TV/ Media and tourism. Daniel Knudsen

6. Rural and Peripheral Tourism. Patrick Brouder

7. Moral encounters in tourism. Mary Conran & Kevin Hannam

8. Biopower in tourism. Amy Gray and Claudio Minca

9. Tourism Geographies and Global Climate Change. Jarkko Saarinen and Alison Gill

10. Round Table Discussion: Enclave tourism. Dimitri Ioannides

11. Tourism post-9/11. Anne-Marie d'Hauteserre

12. Dark tourism. Rudi Hartmann Rudi.Hartmann@ucdenver.edu

13. Historical geography of the environment. National parks and protected areas. Yolonda Youngs & Terence Young

14. Privatization and bio-conservation: exploring social/ecological trends.
Jason Abdilla and Melissa Wiggins

06 September 2011

Opening Day at WSU

Well, a day of meetings and connections with students and we are set for another academic year. The summer was jammed with our office moves anchored by two significant natural hazards: tornado and hurricane.

Glad that is behind us, but we are still in line to get some more hurricane like weather over the next few weeks. But hopefully, nothing significant.

Take care.

27 August 2011

Another view of Irene

One of my colleagues, a physical geographer and GIS faculty member shared this link yesterday as another way to track Hurricane Irene.

It is wonderful to see mainstream press using GIS applications to note physical or human events.

To see the link at the NY Times, click here.

26 August 2011

Irene Update

Surfs Up!

While most sane people are moving inland, there are surfing fans enjoying a rare opportunity to "hang ten" on the eastern seaboard. This area is not well know for serious surfing, but when a storm comes in the area, you are not going to waste the opportunity.

See this news site for more info.

The Weather Channel has some info on wave heights.

A final thought...the leading edge for this storm gives us winds from the north-east and east, but once the eye has past, the winds will reverse to come from west and south-west. Remember, a cyclonic disturbance in the northern hemisphere has counter clockwise winds toward the low pressure.

25 August 2011

Hurricane IRENE

Well, the campus President has closed school for Monday the 29th in anticipation of Hurricane Irene. I'll be tracking the storm using data from

the National Hurricane Center

Lots of good graphics, maps and data and none of the commercials or advertisements you'll get on other sites.

Plugged in our dehumidifier in the basement to prepare. Oh yeah, maybe I'll stock up on some goodies too!

22 August 2011

Cutural Heritage Tourism To States

U.S. Department of Commerce Releases First Cultural Heritage Visitor Profile
International Cultural Heritage Traveler Arrivals Up 14 Percent Over 2009
The U.S. Department of Commerce announces the release of its first Cultural Heritage Visitor (CHV) Profile. The CHV profile showcases select characteristics of overseas visitors who participated in one or more of the following activities: art gallery/museum, concert/play/musical, cultural heritage sites, ethnic heritage sites, American Indian community, historical places, and national parks.
The profile can be accessed directly from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries' website:

14 August 2011

da Conch Shack

Hungry for conch? I am partial to cracked conch and this a really good place to get it.

They also participated in our Sustainable Restaurant Study, so take this as a shameless plug for their food.

12 August 2011

Travel to the States

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that 5.2 million international visitors traveled to the United States in May 2011, a three percent increase over May 2010. For the first five months of 2011, visitation (23.7 million) was up five percent compared to the same period in 2010.

01 August 2011

Hurricane Season is here

Tropical Storm Emily is heading across the Caribbean. Better shutter the windows, stock up fresh water, and if you are vacationing in the D.R., Bahamas or Turks and Caicos, you may wish to cash in that travel insurance.

So summer vacations in the tropics are always a gamble. In 2009, I made travel plans about a week out since hurricanes move slowly, say 15-25 mph.

Should Emily pick up, you can download GIS tracking data.

stay safe!

31 July 2011

Indian Cave, Middle Caicos

You'd figure you could escape the heat by going into a cave. Not this one and the skeeters were killer! Shot this clip returning from my surveying Daniel's Cafe on Sustainable Island Restaurant Tourism.

29 July 2011

Dark Tourism Forum Premiers Online

What is dark tourism?
'Dark tourism is the act of travel and visitation to sites, attractions and exhibitions which have real or recreated death, suffering or the seemingly macabre as a main theme.'
Stone P.R (2005)

Dark Tourism.....visit this site for more information.

28 July 2011

Sustainable Tourism in Restaurants

I was in the local supermarket a day ago, and while I was checking the shelves, two different people commented about the high prices. I paused before replying (something I need to do more often) and said something like "well everything is higher and you have to consider the transportation costs...".

Transportation costs? It amazes me when get strawberries at home in winter. I mean, the berries are being transported 5-7 thousand miles, and they are only a couple of bucks.

But here and now, on Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, BVI, the five dollar loafs of bread, "Kraft" cheese going $10 a pound and so on, everything is higher than at home. But on an island EVERYTHING has to come from somewhere else.

I mean, the seafood is local (and fresh, not frozen) and the hydroponic farming does provide some local greens. But be prepared to pay $50 and up for a cut of beef at the dinner table. But who would (or should) when the conch chowder tastes so good!

So this a longer than normal intro is needed to post our research here: Sustainable Restaurant Study. Using the criteria established by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, we are interviewing restaurants in TCI about the sustainable food practices. More to come....

16 July 2011

Storm Drain Labeling

This morning I spent a few hours walking around downtown Westfield with my friend Mike Young of the Westfield River Watershed Association. We placed these labels next to storm drains to alert the public that things dumped in the drain go straight into the river.

It is just one of those things that we may not pay attention to. WRWA used to use a stencil and painted label, but now they use these rubber labels and adhere it with some black goo.

Here is a link for the EPA on the subject:

08 July 2011

Bear visits my backyard again

Seems Jiggy is spending a lot of time in the neighborhood. So much that my wife has named her (him?). She presents no problem, unless you have a bird feeder. And besides, there is plenty of food during the summer, so everyone has taken down their feeders.

While a bit dark and the focus comes and goes due to the low light conditions, here's Jiggy heading north along Ashley Brook.

07 July 2011

One Third of our Time?

the complete citation is:

One Third of our Time? An Introduction to Recreation Behavior and Resources by Michael Chubb and Holly R. Chubb (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10016, 1981.

Remember this book? It basically stated that we have 8 hours a day for recreation. When was the last time you spent eight hours playing? Life is so much more complex today; perhaps we need to set aside at least some time for re-creation. And not on Facebook like this report noted:

BTW, you can pick up Chubb and Chubb for $0.19 on Amazon.

27 June 2011

Westfield Dog Bark coming soon

Westfield Dog Bark becoming a reality. Yes, that is the way we spell it. The City Parks and Recreation Commision gave us permission to lease the property known as Arm Brook as seen in this image from the City's GIS. We scouted out the park area this morning and will meet at the University on Wednesday to do some more serious planning.

For more information see our Facebook Page at:

The area we are planning is in the southern portion of the property.

26 June 2011

Monster Bash this weekend

Missed the bash this year. We were going to go, but my brother had to work and the ten hour road trip, alone, wasn't going to be fun. Oh well, maybe next year.

18 June 2011

Peaceful Stanley Park, Westfield, MA

I find a lot of pleasure in our local Stanley Park. And the remarkable thing about it is that it is a private park, open to the public free of charge. It puts the local public parks to shame, but we can be thankful that it is here!

I often walk my dog in the back woods area, called the Frank Stanley Beverage Wildlife Sanctuary. It is very peaceful.

And sometimes, like when I shot this picture, all you hear is the rustle of leaves and birds chirping. No automobile noises, no bombers from the local air base, and no lawnmowers, blowers or chain saws. ahhhhhh.

17 June 2011



that is the full name. This is the paper Rod Warnick and I have submitted for publication in the Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium Proceedings. The abstract:

Modeling supply and demand data is useful for regional outdoor recreation planning. At the statewide level, a State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) is prepared to satisfy the requirements of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). In Massachusetts, the most recent SCORP was prepared in 2006. One of the primary tasks in the preparation for this document was the updating of recreation resource inventory statewide and the development of an extensive GIS data base. For the demand side, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts utilized data collected in 1995 that emphasized usage patterns, tested satisfaction of outdoor recreation areas and evaluated unmet needs. This paper presents an example of updating SCORPS using current demographic data (US Census) and geographic supply data (MassGIS).

16 June 2011

An Act relative to geography education in Massachusetts

Funny thing here in Massachusetts is the lack of geography education at the K-12 level. That might change if S.182 passes.

An Act relative to geography education in Massachusetts found at:

If you want to support, email one of the sponsors and if you are local, contact your rep or senator!

11 June 2011

Remote Sensing and Tornadoes

NASA has always provided some great educational material for free. The Earth Observatory site is one example.

See http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=50854&src=nha for an image of the Western Mass weather event of 1 June 2011.

03 June 2011

Sustainable medical tourism in Costa Rica

Our paper on sustainable medical tourism is now available online at

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to ascertain the relative importance of sustainable tourism practices to medical tourists. Sustainable management practices have become the accepted and appropriate model for tourism. Medical tourists, those who visit a foreign country for a medical procedure unavailable at home due to high costs, timeliness or local laws and customs, are asked how important a set of sustainable management practices are in their experiences. Selected for this study are the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC). These criteria have been designed to be the minimum practices to ensure sustainability for the business as well as protect the natural and cultural resources.

Design/methodology/approach – An online survey was employed to gather the travel patterns, motivations and socio-demographics of medical tourists and to test their ranking of the GSTC on a five-point Likert scale.

Findings – Medical tourists who travelled to Costa Rica, a recognized ecotourism destination, are more likely to support some of the sustainable criteria designed to maximize social and economic benefits to the local community and minimize negative impacts, than those who travelled elsewhere.

Research limitations/implications – While the sample size is modest, this is an exploratory assessment by medical tourists of sustainable management practices.

Practical implications – Research into sustainable medical tourism practices is timely given that hospitals are not traditionally in the tourism business, but are now rapidly seeking to provide this service to their foreign patients.

Originality/value – The paper presents what is believed to be the first investigation into medical tourists' preferences in sustainable tourism practices.

02 June 2011

Tornado in Western Mass

I'll eat my words.

Over the Memorial Day weekend at a friend's picnic party, the discussion came around to being thankful that we don't live in a part of the world besieged by floods, earthquakes, wildfire, hurricanes AND tornadoes.

Sure we get them all, but generally these natural hazards are weak fortunately infrequent.

Well I eat my words, when yesterday, while we lost power for 2 hours, all hell was breaking loose 5 miles to our east.

My thoughts go out to all who were impacted by this event and any natural disaster.

30 May 2011

Gearing up for summer movies in the backyard

Yep, been doing movies in the backyard for 10 years or so. I think the first film I showed was "Reptilicus", so that will give you an idea of the genre!

This year we will start in a couple of weeks, rain or shine, and after a BBQ of pork patty palooza, show an Abbott and Costello films called "Time of their Lives."

Should be a fun evening.

23 May 2011

Storm Chasing

I did a study with one of my students a while back that looked into Storm Chasing: The Ultimate Risk Recreation. It was published in Parks and Recreation (Sept 2000). You can find it at:

Now, given the horrendous loss of life in the Midwest over the weekend, I offer this question. Should we, as tourists, exploit the damaging impacts of Tornadoes?

I am reminded of this every time I am on the road, and a fire truck or cop car or ambulance scream down the highway and drivers do not get out of the way. Come on folks, let these people do their job. someone's life may be at risk!

21 May 2011

Graduation 2011

Congratulations to all 2011 graduates. May you take your energy and knowledge and improve our world.

17 May 2011

Canada is US's Biggest Visitor in 2010

Canada tops the list of visitors and spending in the US in 2010. See the summary report at http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/pdf/2010-Top-10-Markets.pdf.

Since the American and Canadian Dollar are about the same in value, this number is probably fueled by the GST!

Mexico follows in numbers while Japan follows in money spent.

14 May 2011

Dolores Fullers dies at 88

Thus cult movie fans will recognize this actress. Starring in such classics as Glen or Glenda, Mesa of Lost Women, and Bride of the Monster, she was the companion of Ed Wood early in her career. This must have helped her since she moved on to writing music for Elvis!

Anyway, she has passed and will be missed.

08 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Peace to you and yours. Me? I walked Biscuit in the Frank Stanley Beverage Wildlife Sanctuary in Westfield MA. Strange thing, I walked along this fence line that borders our campus and the Park.

Shot this with my cell phone and must have clicked on black and white? Anyway, met lots of mom's today and several four legged ones greeted Biscuit.

02 May 2011

Coconut Ice Cream

I am in Heaven now. A local homemade ice cream is making coconut ice cream. The Northside Creamery is the name and click on the title for their website.

Why coconut? Well probably the first time I ever had it was in 1997 in Belize. I mean you can get coconut and chocolate ice cream but I am talking about 100% coconut. I then found that when you travel in the Caribbean or Central America you can get this wonderful dessert, but not easily in the States.

In Martinique earlier this year, I had coconut ice cream for dessert at every dinner. We also came across a beach vendor at La Plage des Salines. For a Euro, you got some fresh homemade coconut ice cream!

Life is good.

30 April 2011

CFP for AAG 2012!

Call for Papers Begins May 15

The 2012 Annual Meeting will be held much earlier than previous meetings; therefore, presenters will need to submit their abstracts and proposals earlier. Presenters can register for the AAG Annual Meeting and submit abstracts for presentations and sessions as early as May 15. The Call for Papers will end on September 28, 2011.

The AAG Annual Meeting is an interdisciplinary forum open to anyone with an interest in geography and related disciplines. All scholars, researchers, and students are welcome to submit abstracts for papers and presentations. The Call for Papers and abstract guidelines are available at www.aag.org/annualmeeting/call_for_papers.

25 April 2011

Urban Heat Islands

Even when adjusted for different current weather conditions, the area has grown for urban heat islands in our little town of Westfield.

How adjusted? well the median temps for each period was used to reclassify the maps into area of UHI and not. Simple right?

24 April 2011


Forsythia is in bloom. I was walking the dog in Stanley Park this morning and saw this growth patter. I mean, no flowers 2-4 feet above the ground. Can you guess why?

Well probably it is due to the cold winter and the piles of snow we got. With a couple of feet of snow on the ground from Christmas to the middle of March, a lot of buds were exposed to the elements and froze.

23 April 2011

St. Louis Airport closed indefinitely (STL)

BREAKING NEWS (http://www.lambert-stlouis.com/)

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is closed indefinitely due to severe storm damage on Friday, April 22.

All departing and arriving flights are cancelled until further notice pending full safety assessments of Airport facilities.

Contact your airline for latest updates and options for all departing and arriving flights.

St. Louis City, St. Louis County and surrounding municipalities are actively assisting the Airport with cleanup efforts and safety review of all operations in and around the Airport complex.

You can also stay tuned to local media for further updates on the situation at Lambert.

22 April 2011

Earth Day 2011

I planted some grass seed and a few trees in my yard. Anything to grab some of that CO2 from the atmosphere AND make my little 0.67 hectares of land a better place. Oh yeah, we share it with our new friend.

10 April 2011

Travel Behavior for Medical Tourists

Hi, here is the research presentation I gave at the (click here:

The Changing World of Coastal, Island and Tropical Tourism Conference

Martinique, French West Indies

27 - 29 January 2011

Sea, sun, sand and ... Selecting Surgery, an exploration of Medical Tourist Travel Behavior

Keywords: medical tourism, travel choice behavior, sustainable tourism

A challenge for marketing coastal and island destinations is the recognition of the spatial choice behavior of tourists. Mass tourism facilities depend on repeat visitors as well as attracting new first time tourists. As these traditional sun and sand holiday destinations mature, tourism promoters are expanding opportunities to attract a different kind of tourist. Since many of these resorts are all-inclusive facilities including a Spa, one potential expansion may be to market to health, wellness or medical tourists.

One primary goal of travel research is to understand what factors might influence the decision-making process. In this manner, tourism planners can identify the determinants of patronage patterns in order to estimate the returns on investments. Travel occurs because people seek alternatives in space where participation in some activity takes place. Like any travel, medical travel is where an individual seeks to meet some desired objective by selecting among alternative hospital destinations and choosing one.

Geographic research in travel and tourism has found that individuals either repeat visits to the same destination or diversify their choices. Since medical tourists are facing travel for a sensitive personal issue, awareness of their travel behavior is important for island and coastal destinations electing to market medical tourism.

For example, in Costa Rica, the Medical Tourism Development Project is proposing the construction of a private hospital, a Robert Trent Jones golf course and complementary support and living facilities. This 1000 hectare property is minutes from the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia and thirty minutes from the beaches of the Guanacaste Province. Will this facility attract individuals who have vacationed in Costa Rica before or will it attract new tourists?

This presentation highlights the finding of an survey that gathered the travel patterns and motivations, preferences of sustainable tourism management practices and socio-demographics of medical tourists. Medical tourists considered several different destinations prior to their treatment. The data suggests that repeat visitors are more likely to have a level of comfort in their chosen destination. On the other hand, those who exhibited diversified travel behavior were more likely to want their hospital choice to be affiliated with an American Hospital and accredited. There were no differences for preference of sustainable management practices between the repeat and diversified travelers.

07 April 2011

Honshu Quake number 2,317

I don't know the actual number, but it is easy to say it is a lot. Japan, found on the Pacific Rim, just happens to be in an earthquake zone. Look at the historic record of earthquakes at:


Let us hope this one, even at 7.1, does not hurt anyone. And if you are interested Google "earthquake tourism".

05 April 2011

Tourism to the States


see http://www.tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/download_data_table/Fast_Facts_2010.pdf for details about travel to the States in 2010. Better than last year, but not as good as before the Bank Crash.

02 April 2011

01 April 2011

G. W. Bush National Park

In recognition of his superior record protecting natural resources, the American Department of Interior announced today the formation of Bush National Park in Crawford, TX. The property is the former 1600 acre Prairie Chapel Ranch bought from the Engelbrecht family in 1999 for $1.00. Today, the property is worth $0.99. Dubbed "The Western White House," by some who knew the President, Crawford now enjoys some economic prosperity. Now townsfolk sip their morning coffee waiting for their Social Security Checks. Sorry no Starbucks!

Crawford invites citizens around the world to enjoy the natural wonders found in the park like sage brush and tumble weed. A local effort to clean up the discarded beer cans is underway, but is expected to take some time. For more information about Bush National Park, see www.bushnatioinalpark.com.

28 March 2011


Next month at the NERR conference (http://www.esf.edu/nerr/), John Confer is going to give a talk about the National Recreation and Parks Association GIS program. See:

According to the website "The GIS Model allows you to make a list (inventory) of all the lands and facilities (assets) that you own, plan, manage, operate, and maintain. By providing standard attributes and values, the GIS Model makes it possible for better local, regional, and statewide management and planning of park and recreation resources."

Sounds pretty useful.

25 March 2011

Turks and Caicos News

One of the advantages of the WWW is that you can check out the local press before a trip. I enjoy reading news about foreign countries and typically will seek out newspapers online to find out what is going on.

There are 3 online newspapers for the Turks and Caicos and it seems they have a handful of news to deal with. A sick-out yesterday shut down the international airport (PLS) for the day when civil servants protested. I won't get into that, but it is clear the local citizens are a tad upset.

Any, only two of the papers reported about the airport shut down. Check out the news yourself:

23 March 2011

Encyclopedia of Worldwide Tourism Research

Always a good site to check out for information. I recall early in may career getting a letter from Prof. Baretje-Keller asking for hard copies of papers on anything recreation or tourism related. My small and modest contribution. Over 150,000 citations are available and indexed. Check it out and see:


Also please find a list of tourism scholars around the world! Good stuff.

21 March 2011

Coffee in three days

Lunes, Marzo 21, 2011UbicaciónHora
18Envío entregado - Firmado por: ROBERTWEST HARTFORD, CT - USA17:35
17Envío en ruta de entrega.WEST HARTFORD, CT - USA09:10
16Llegado a oficinas de DHL en WEST HARTFORD - USAWEST HARTFORD, CT - USA08:51
Domingo, Marzo 20, 2011UbicaciónHora
15Salida de un centro de tránsito de DHL en CINCINNATI HUB - USACINCINNATI HUB, OH - USA22:46
13Salida de un centro de tránsito de DHL en MIAMI GATEWAY - USAMIAMI GATEWAY, FL - USA13:18
12Llegada a un centro de tránsito de DHL en CINCINNATI HUB - USACINCINNATI HUB, OH - USA12:25
Sábado, Marzo 19, 2011UbicaciónHora
10Proceso de Aduana finalizado en MIAMI GATEWAY - USAMIAMI GATEWAY, FL - USA07:58
9Llegada a un centro de tránsito de DHL en MIAMI GATEWAY - USAMIAMI GATEWAY, FL - USA07:58
8Salida de un centro de tránsito de DHL en PANAMA CITY - PANAMAPANAMA CITY - PANAMA03:06
7Envío en tránsito por PANAMA CITY - PANAMAPANAMA CITY - PANAMA03:04
6Llegada a un centro de tránsito de DHL en PANAMA CITY - PANAMAPANAMA CITY - PANAMA00:09
Viernes, Marzo 18, 2011UbicaciónHora
5Salida de un centro de tránsito de DHL en SAN JOSE - COSTA RICASAN JOSE - COSTA RICA22:33
4Envío en tránsito por SAN JOSE - COSTA RICASAN JOSE - COSTA RICA22:31
3Llegada a un centro de tránsito de DHL en SAN JOSE - COSTA RICASAN JOSE - COSTA RICA21:42
1Envío retirado/recolectado.SAN JOSE - COSTA RICA14:24

It is fun to track the passage of my coffee beans from Costa Rica to my door step.