29 December 2012

Greece uncovers tourism scam

Caught this news report from Reuters.  As if the Greek people don't have enough problems, former leadership in Greece’s National Tourism Organization (GNTO) is in deep doo doo.  

The official Greek Tourism site is http://www.visitgreece.gr/.  

14 December 2012

Meteor Shower last night

Last night we had a great light show in the backyard. For the report see this link.

The Geminid Meteor Shower produced up to 100 meteors per hour.

So, we were outside and I saw several meteors and one satellite.  The satellite was moving east to west, but was probably fixed in space as the Earth spins eastward.

For more information about these astronomical light shows, see here.

Pretty cool eh?

11 December 2012

Worth Repeating... Tourism not biggest industry

As I prep for teaching Travel and Tourism Planning next spring 2013, I am gathering a set of reading on the subject. One that I may use early in the course is the essay by Dr. Alan Lew of Northern Arizona University found on his blog.

Originally written in 2008, Alan updated the blog earlier this year (2012) and for obvious reasons, received several comments.

While Tourism is big, and I mean BIG, like grades in education, I also believe the statistics are highly inflated.

03 December 2012

The Creeping Terror on 16mm

Christmas is early this year when I picked up a 16mm print of The Creeping Terror.  Now, that's entertainment! Google this title to see some clips of the slowest monster on Earth, as well as the slowest army soldiers fighting it.  For a critical review, visit this site.

Just wonderful b-movie madness for next season's film festival!  While not public domain, you can watch the film on YouTube.  Some mighty fine acting too.

30 November 2012

ISSRM 2013

details from an email:
Call for Abstracts NOW OPEN
International Symposium on Society & Resource Management

Estes Park, Colorado, USA
June 4-8, 2013

A Time for Integration

Please submit abstracts to present an individual paper, poster, or to lead an organized session. More information about the symposium and online submission of abstracts can be found at http://www.issrm2013.iasnr.orgAdditional inquiries should be directed to conference@warnercnr.colostate.edu
In addition to a diverse array of paper, panel, and poster sessions, the program includes the 6th Annual Student Forum on June 4th and fantastic keynote and featured speakers though out the week. We hope you will join us in the spectacular Estes Valley surrounded by the majestic peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park for what promises to be a wonderful conference!
Abstract submission deadline for individual paper, poster, or organized session is February 4th 2013
Conference registration will be open soon: stay tuned!

21 November 2012

ISSRM 2013

19th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management 
Hosted by Colorado State University
Location: Estes Park, Colorado
June 4 – 8, 2013

Theme: A Time for Integration
The lack of integration among the sciences is a major constraint to dealing with the complex nature of today’s environmental problems and is a particularly severe problem among the social sciences.

For more info, visit http://www.issrm2013.iasnr.org

Always a good conference, and who can beat the Rocky Mountains!

19 November 2012

What not to buy at Airports

According to SmarterTravel, there are several items that one should not buy at a airport.  See this link for the entire slide show.

I like this site, since before Kayak and Hipmunk, it was a good site to get discounts for air travel. So instead of picking airport to airport travel plans, Smarter Travel identifies the sales that airlines offer and that may mean flying out of a different airport.  But if that saves you some bucks, why not?

Here is the open air check in at Puerto Plata, DR.

13 November 2012

Check out this Volunteer Effort for the AT

Fellow Blogger "http://massatprojects2012.blogspot.com/" has an update showcasing the fine volunteer efforts on the Appalachian Trail.  So check out the blog at this link.

09 November 2012

Free Entrance Days at National Parks

This weekend, in honor of Veteran's Day, there will be free entrances to National Parks.  See this list by state.

So the weather looks good for us on the East Coast too.  For your local weather (in the States) see this link.

So get out and take a hike!

08 November 2012

Bram Stoker's Birthday Today

Notice the graphic in Google today?  Well it is Bram Stoker's 165th Birthday.  The page will link you to a set of cool links about the famous author.

For another spin on Bram, I have a Dark Tourism, titled  "Myth vs. Fact: An Exploration of Fright Tourism" found on this site and you may wish to check it out, if you dare!!!

Happy Birthday Bram!

05 November 2012

The Election

The Election

It is clear to me that this election is not about our war in SW Asia. We were all lied to by “W” in his fantasy quest for WMD!

And it is clear to me that it is not about health care. Even Willard required health care coverage in his home state of Massachusetts.

And it is really clear to me that it is not about the economy. The deregulation of businesses started by President Reagan in the Eighties created this mess we are in today!

No, what this election is really about is Freedom.

The freedom NOT to be challenged by your race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.

That is what this election is about.

  Please Vote!

02 November 2012

Air Travel Survey News

Seeking Improvements to the Survey of International Air Travelers

The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) is exploring several ways to improve and expand the Survey of International Air Travelers (SIAT). Communications with the Travel & Tourism Advisory Board this summer focused on current methodologies and funding as well as potential research alternatives. Two are described here:

In August of this year, the OTTI launched a pilot test of the SIAT using an Internet survey for passengers on selected Lufthansa flights leaving the U.S. The initial test was small with 13 selected flights. Initial results from the pilot study can be found at: e-SIAT pilot study (scroll halfway down page). In the near future the test study may be expanded to include incentives for survey participation, as well as more carriers, more flights, and more airports as Wi-Fi Internet coverage is increased.

OTTI has ongoing discussions with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to enable an Internet-hosted SIAT questionnaire for overseas travelers to the United States from visa waiver countries. Travelers from visa waiver countries are required to fill out an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application every two years or when their passport expires, whichever comes first.
If you would like to learn more, or if you think you have a potential solution to improve the process to collect data on international travel, assist the government in reducing its costs and/or offer innovative solutions on funding, please contact Ron Erdmann or Richard Champley at otti@trade.gov.
U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
1401 Constitution Ave., NW, Room 10003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140
Fax: (202) 482-2887
Email: otti@trade.gov

25 October 2012

Karloff double feature

Last night I joined a friend to go the movies (remember those) to see the Turner Classics Presentation of Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein.

It was fun to see these films on the big screen!  Both were filmed in 35 mm.  (I wasn't sure of that when asked, I kind of assumed they may have been filmed in 16 mm).

The best thing too, is that I didn't need to drive into Boston or NYC to see these films; they were shown in West Springfield.

A fun evening for sure.

24 October 2012

"Hurricane Sandy" is heading our way

Seems we may be in for another set of bad weather this Halloween.  Sandy is hitting Jamaica as I write this and has an interesting track north as predicted by the National Hurricane Center.

As of 2 pm this afternoon:

LOCATION...17.6N 76.8W

Will we get hit?

Time will tell....

21 October 2012

Fall Hike with Biscuit

Took a hike in Granville State Forest, Massachusetts today.  A great day in the sixties, partly cloudy with the sun poking through every once in the while.  Did a loop that took us down the Halfway Brook Trail.

The fall foliage was spectacular and we had the trails to ourselves.  Oh yeah, we looped back to our vehicle via the gas pipeline to Bahre Pond Trail, then on Sattler Trail.  About two hours on the trail giving me enough exercise to burn off the Crispy Cream Donut from last night.

Here is a shot of Hubbard River.

17 October 2012

Northeastern Recreation Research CFP

Yep. it is that time of the year that you should be getting ready for the spring conference scene.  In 2013, the Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium, will take place 7-9 April.  For the Call for Papers, see this link.

Presentation formats

Paper and poster presentations are considered equal in terms of expected scholarly quality. At their core, management and roundtable discussions should have a focus on application.
  • Research paper presentation: A 15-minute presentation followed by 5 minutes of discussion.
  • Poster presentation: A 60-minute session during which time authors must be available for questions and discussion.
  • Management presentation: A 90-minute session focusing on current, applied recreation management issues.
  • Roundtable discussion: A 60- to 90-minute session providing structure for stimulating discussion of timely and controversial topics.

Again this year, the conference will take place at The Otesaga.


3 Dec 2012 Abstract Due
18 Jan 2013 Notification of acceptance
18 Feb 2013 Schedule online

15 October 2012

14 October 2012

Peter Gabriel was hot last night

We saw Peter Gabriel last night in Connecticut at Mohegan Sun Arena.  I have loved this artist since my college days in the Seventies, and this guy keeps going!  The concert was orchestrated to begin with a starter to wet the appetite, then an electric main course of older tunes and the dessert was the complete SO album.

WOW, a fantastic experience of music and visuals.  

A shot from the beginning of Red Rain.

Peter Gabriel = Back to Front
So Live - performed by the original 1987 line-up

11 October 2012

Life is Good .... my Costa Rica Coffee has arrived

In three days, I got my Costa Rica Coffee.  Here is the tracking record:

8069380130 - Detailed Report

DateTimeLocation Service AreaCheckpoint Details

October 08, 2012 
 San Jose - Costa Rica Shipment picked up
October 08, 2012 
 San Jose - Costa Rica Processed at San Jose - Costa Rica
October 08, 2012 
 San Jose - Costa Rica Processed at San Jose - Costa Rica
October 08, 2012 
 San Jose - Costa Rica Departed from DHL facility in San Jose - Costa Rica
October 08, 2012 
 San Jose - Costa Rica Arrived at DHL facility in San Jose - Costa Rica
October 08, 2012 
 San Jose - Costa Rica Transferred through San Jose - Costa Rica
October 08, 2012 
 San Jose - Costa Rica Departed from DHL facility in San Jose - Costa Rica
October 09, 2012 
 Panama City - Panama Arrived at DHL facility in Panama City - Panama
October 09, 2012 
 Panama City - Panama Arrived at DHL facility in Panama City - Panama
October 09, 2012 
 Panama City - Panama Arrived at DHL facility in Panama City - Panama
October 09, 2012 
 Panama City - Panama Transferred through Panama City - Panama
October 09, 2012 
 Panama City - Panama Departed from DHL facility in Panama City - Panama
October 09, 2012 
 Miami, FL - USA Clearance processing complete at Miami, FL - USA
October 09, 2012 
 Miami, FL - USA Processed at Miami, FL - USA
October 09, 2012 
 Miami, FL - USA Processed at Miami, FL - USA
October 09, 2012 
 Miami, FL - USA Departed from DHL facility in Miami, FL - USA
October 10, 2012 
 Cincinnati, OH - USA Arrived at DHL facility in Cincinnati, OH - USA
October 10, 2012 
 Cincinnati, OH - USA Arrived at DHL facility in Cincinnati, OH - USA
October 10, 2012 
 Cincinnati, OH - USA Arrived at DHL facility in Cincinnati, OH - USA
October 10, 2012 
 Cincinnati, OH - USA Processed at Cincinnati, OH - USA
October 10, 2012 
 Cincinnati, OH - USA Processed at Cincinnati, OH - USA
October 10, 2012 
 Cincinnati, OH - USA Departed from DHL facility in Cincinnati, OH - USA
October 10, 2012 
 West Hartford - USA Scheduled for delivery
October 10, 2012 
 West Hartford - USA With delivery courier
October 10, 2012 
 West Hartford - USA Shipment delivered

08 October 2012

It is official now, summer is over.

Fired up the wood stove last night when overnight lows crept into the thirties.  So it will probably be May 2013 when we let the fire die down, right?

Here is one of the many websites I use to check the weather.  While it has ads, there are a lot of extras found at the site.

Today is Columbus Day, and since we don't have classes, I have some chores to do outside (between grading papers of course).

03 October 2012

Fall foliage season and Halloween

The annual road trip into the mountains started this past weekend as we headed northwest to Worthington, MA and the High Hopes Farm Sugar House.  You are probably saying hey, it isn't maple syrup season, "what's up"?

Well this family hosts a breakfast over the month of October for all the leaf peepers, like us.

I shot a little video of their Halloween display for your viewing pleasure.

27 September 2012

Earth is top heavy

quick, answer this question....

In the Northern Hemisphere about ________ percent of the surface is land. 

A) 39    B) 13.9   C) .039   D)  91   E) 76 

If you answered A, pat yourself on the back.

Now, who says it is the top???

23 September 2012

It is official, it is Fall

A cold front blew through the area last night bringing some rain and today, some cooler temperatures and clear blue skies.

Here is the current wx map from Weather.GOV (not the dot com one).

Pretty nice graphic and the National Weather Service doesn't have advertisements!  I wonder what next weekend will bring?

19 September 2012

Recreation, Tourism and Sport Specialty Group Sessions

The call for papers at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers is in full swing right now. The Recreation, Tourism and Sport Specialty (RTS) Group Sessions are found at this link.  The latest session proposal comes from Prof. Bosak at the University of Montana and the theme is:

Re-framing Sustainable Tourism

The term sustainable tourism has been in existence since the late 1980’s and since that time, debates in the field have been challenged by varying notions of what sustainable tourism is and to what purposes does it serve. In a world that is increasingly globalized and interconnected, contentious and complex, is sustainable tourism limited to small firms located in rural environments, or does the concept have broader applicability. Technology, environmental issues and global- local interactions have changed enormously in the last 25 years thus necessitating an evaluation of the concept as an organizing tool for research and practice. As such, academics and others continue to re-define and reframe issues of sustainable tourism in interesting and innovative ways. This session proposes to highlight some of those ways in which sustainable tourism is being re-framed to include among other things:

  • Its place in complex social-ecological systems
  • Challenges to assumptions treated as facts
  • An increasing focus on justice and governance
  • The relevancy of the notion of resiliency to sustainable tourism
  • The politics of sustainable tourism
  • More nuanced understandings of scale and sustainable tourism
  • Managing and planning sustainable tourism

We invite both empirical research and critical essays on the idea of Reframing Sustainable Tourism. Authors of abstracts chosen for this session will be asked to develop a paper for possible inclusion in a special issue of the journal Sustainability and as a chapter in an upcoming edited volume on re-framing sustainable tourism.

See the RTS website for more details.

17 September 2012

Heading to warmer climates this winter?

I'm planning our winter trip to the Caribbean or Central America and am leaning toward Antigua.  Still working on the dates and where to stay, so for those reasons we haven't booked anything yet.

One thing we are considering is the impact of cruise ships.  This site identifies Ports of Call.

This will help us determine when to tour on the island and when to avoid certain areas.  Getting 3,000 to 5,000 people in port can really change the tourism experience.

Yikes, it is a popular port!

13 September 2012

Atomic Rulers

I don't know about you, but I might not be able to wait until Saturday night to watch Atomic Rulers, starring my favorite hero "Starman".

Check out this embedded link to archive.org.

 and enjoy the show!

10 September 2012

Hiking 101: Geographic Terms

I get a monthly email newsletter from the American Hiking Society and found this interesting tidbit:

Hiking 101: Geographic terms
A quick glance at any map will tell you there is an abundance of terms for the various geographic forms you will encounter outdoors. After a while the definition of these terms can become confusing and a hiker doesn't always know what to expect out on the trail.

Mountains are mountains, but you will also have to hike uphill on a knob, a hill, a bald (which usually has no trees), or a butte. Bald and butte are largely regional words, indicating that geographic terms can differ from one side of the country to the other.

You'll find water at a river, obviously, but also at a brook, stream, run, creek, branch, and ford. Typically, rivers are thought to be larger than streams and brooks. However, the amount of water you find can depend on the season and whether or not the area has been affected by a drought.

Gaps, gorges, hollows, and valleys generally refer to low areas in a region, while crests and ridges are the highest points. Neither necessarily means you'll be traveling downhill or uphill, just that you've reached the top or bottom of a specific location. You could even be hiking on mostly flat ground.

A pass is simply a low area in a series of mountains or along a ridge that allows one to travel between valleys or low-lying areas without ascending and descending the mountain. Also known as a "notch."

(Source: American Hiking Society's Paperless Trail, September 2012)

08 September 2012

Glendi day two

Actually this is a shot of the dancers Friday night at Glendi.  After a wonderful Greek dinner, we sat outside and watched dancing and enjoyed live music.  Just a really nice evening.  It is going on this weekend in Springfield, Mass.

Friendly people, live music, great food.  What more could you ask for?

07 September 2012

Medical Tourism, edited by C. M. Hall

Medical Tourism: The Ethics, Regulation, and Marketing of Health Mobility
 edited by C. Michael Hall

is available now from Routledge.

Part 1: Introductory Context 1. Medical and Health Tourism: The Development and Implications of Medical Mobility
Part 2: Regulation and Meta-Ethics 2. Quality, Safety and Risk in Medical Tourism 3. The Four Modes of Medical Tourism: Economic, Social and Institutional Impediments 4. Medical Tourism, Xenotourism and Client Expectations: Between Bioscience and Responsibilization 
Part 3: National and Regional Policy, Regulatory and Competitive Settings 5. Impacts of Health Policy on Medical Tourism in Germany 6. Thermal versus Surgical Medical Tourism in Hungary: Reconciling Public and Private Sector Policies 7. Health Spa Tourism in the Czech and Slovak Republic 8. Macao’s Cross-border Medical Tourism: A New Way Forward? 
Part 4: Branding, Markets & Promotion 9. Branding Medical and Health Tourism Services: An Analysis of Members of Public Health Insurers in Germany 10. An Investigation of Korean Health Tourists’ Behaviour: Benefit-sought, Brand Equity, and Intention to Visit 11. Medical Tourism in Asia: Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and India 12. Claiming ‘Cultural Competence’: The Promotion of Multi-ethnic Malaysia as a Medical Tourism Destination 
Part 5: Conclusion: The Contested Spaces of Medical Tourism 13. The Contested Futures and Spaces of Medical Tourism

for more info, visit this link.

06 September 2012

Voted today

Yep, in Massachusetts we had a primary election.  Turn out was light, but I voted.

That's what counts!

02 September 2012

Tekoa Mountain Ramble

Across the Westfield River from campus is Tekoa Mountain.  It is a fairly decent 1000 foot climb that has some spectacular views up and down the river valley.  Often visited by 4WD, some of the more extreme trails are strictly for feet.

To see the location where this shot came from, visit this site.  That's the Mass Pike heading west toward Blandford.

28 August 2012

Dark Tourism part deux

I suspect there is some story at this location, but without taking the time to research it, and certainly no signage at the site, this ruin is just a mystery.

To see the location, visit this link.

19 August 2012

Dark Tourism in Maryland

On a recent trip to Maryland's Eastern Shore to visit family, we stopped by the Mystery Loves Company Bookstore in Oxford.  (funny thing, they had the doors wide open and and a window AC blasting, talk about waste, but that is another story).

We picked up a copy of Burgoynes' Haunted Eastern Shore (MD) and began to read about the local area.

One that intrigued me was The Hanging Tree, Tunis Mills.  Well, we found it and it is not too far from downtown Easton.

I'll let you research the validity of the claim of this Dark Tourism attraction, but to find it, check out my Panoramio (and Google Earth) location.

10 August 2012

Olympic Memories

so far....Kudos to:

Hong Kong
Puerto Rico
Saudi Arabia
Trinidad & Tobago

have all earned medal for their countries!!  It is a bronze one, but still a medal.  Congrats to you and all Olympians on Earth.

05 August 2012

Great New England Air Show

Well, the Great New England Air Show was this weekend, so anyone with a lick of sense avoided Exit Five on the Pike.  Now, I don't have anything against recreational flying.  I mean, I do a fair share of carbon emissions every time I fly somewhere.

But what does bother me is the glorification of the war machines.  Sure, these craft rescue people from floods and other natural disasters, but they also transport weapons and the personnel trained to use them.

OK, I will get off my soapbox and tell you about my friend Rod Warnick's paper titled "Purchase decision involvement: Event management segments and related event behavior" that you can find on this site.  The abstract:

The goal of this research was to examine the relationships between different levels of event purchase decision involvement (PDI) segments and their respective event behaviors (e.g., expenditures, travel behavior, event consumption and satisfaction). The specific purpose was to answer two major research questions: 1) Can PDI identify different levels or segments of event attendees?; and 2) Do the PDI segments differ by their tendency to travel, spend, and consume at an event?

31 July 2012

Community Preservation Act Funding Improved

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's FY13 Budget includes increased funding for the CPA.    Not only will more state matching money be available to towns that have adopted the CPA, changes permit money to be used on repairs to parks and recreation facilities.

We all know that in poor economies, parks are often the first to see decreased funding.  Park managers are hard pressed when money needs to go to schools, police and fire protection.

Since the poor economy has meant fewer home sales, and more and more communities have adopted the CPA, what little money the Commonwealth may have is being stretched to the limit.  This change by Gov. Patrick is an improvement and will help "preserve" Massachusetts' communities into our future.

See this previous Blog.

29 July 2012

I am feeling very Olympic today, how about you?

Sanka said this in one of my favorite movies, Cool Runnings.  If you have not seen it, order it on Netflix.  It is a wonderful film and a beautiful story.

Watching the Olympics on TV is inspirational.  I always root for the underdogs.  I like it when the US wins of course, but when a first time athlete arrives on the floor, I can feel proud for the Olympic Athlete.

A truly remarkable experience!

BTW: Sanka was played by Doug E. Doug.

25 July 2012

When both political parties object to a tourism project ...

it must be bad.

According to a report in the Turks and Caicos Sun both PNP and PDM object to the proposed construction of a 28 story skyscraper in the Grace Bay area of Providenciales.

"The Progressive National Party (PNP) and the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) have both registered their objection to the proposed 28-storey hotel in Grace Bay, Providenciales. "

Probably an attempt to rejuvenate the sagging economy, this building may increase the capacity to recieve tourists but will redefine the characteristics of the Caribbean island.

18 July 2012

Last Chance Tourism

I got a news feed this morning from CNN stating a huge chunk of ice broke off a glacier in Greenland.  See this link for details.

It reminded me of a trip to Alaska in 2006 where we travelled by boat to Glacier Bay.  We wanted to see the glaciers before they were gone, gone forever!

There is a balancing act tourist must follow.  How do we visit these "last chance" destinations to see glaciers, or wolves, or polar bears or what ever is disappearing from our planet with out contributing to the loss.

Yeah, you got it: climate change.

We want to return to Glacier Bay in 2016, to see if this glacier is still there.  Oh and to rad about last chance tourism, see this paper titled "Last-chance tourism: the boom, doom, and gloom of visiting vanishing destinations" at this link.

12 July 2012

been quiet the last week or so ...

but I still get feeds and emails from various recreation and tourism sources.  The latest is from Tourism Management Perspectives that has several good articles to check out.  See this link.  More and more journals are making their content freely available on the web and that is a good thing.

30 June 2012

American Hiking Society Resource Center LIVE

AHS is a great organization and has now made a Resource Center freely available on the web.  Check it out at this link (http://www.americanhiking.org/HikingResources/Main/)

I like it since in not only offers info on LNT and gear, but how people can help protect, preserve and plan new trails.  

Consider joining the American Hiking Society to help out!

27 June 2012

Ridgerunners and Caretakers

Ridgerunners and Caretakers are needed for the Appalachian Trail.  Does this sound interesting?  Check out the ATC page at  http://www.appalachiantrail.org/what-we-do/trail-management-support/ridgerunners-caretakers to find out more.

Volunteers are always needed too.  For Massachusetts see this blog for current information.

See you on the trail!

26 June 2012

National Park Service Planning

Want to find out about NPS Planning?  visit the site.

And the NRPA just recently published a paper in Parks and Recreation on planning as well at this link.

I have been research park planning a bit more recently since I will likely teach a new course this fall on Site Planning Studio.  Should be fun.

18 June 2012

Get Ready for Monster Bash

and watch this ten minute clip posted on YouTube for my favorite monster movie.



(I have this on 16 mm too!)

16 June 2012

Monster Bash 2012 next weekend!

Too bad I will not make it this year, but I have fond memories of the Monster Bash. Located north of Pittsburgh, PA in Butler, the Bash theme is Prehistoric Monsters.

Check out to meet celebrities, view classic films and visit the vendors.  If you like old horror films, this is the place to be.

Nearby in Evan's City is the famous graveyard shown in the opening scenes of the original Night of the Living Dead.

04 June 2012

Online Travel Sites

Now, I have been buying domestic plane tickets online for probably 15 or more years.  For foreign flights it is probably more like ten.

But my most recent experience with an online broker is less than satisfactory.  I used Oxxxxx recently to book a multi-airline flight from Hartford/Springfield (BDL) to Tortola (EIS).  Since the two airlines were not partners, I received paper tickets after some delay since I needed to provide a street address instead of a mailing address.

The day before my flight I phoned the first airline and while they had my reservation, I had no assigned seats and none could be assigned until I arrived at the airport at 4:30 a.m. the next day.  And the best seats I could get put my wife and me apart or in the bulkhead.

I generally use a couple of search engines to check airlines, times and dates.  I like KAYAK and HIPMUNK for starters and then will go to the individual airline to book the flight.  I try to be a loyal flyer with a few different airlines and try to fly via San Juan PR (SJU) to clear customs instead of Miami (MIA).  But as I shared earlier, since the two airlines were not partners, in order to get the "whole" package, I needed to use an online broker.

What a royal pain.

And I will never use Oxxxxx again.

03 June 2012

Islands of the World XII Conference 2012

Returned from the Islands of the World XII Conference held in Tortola, BVI this past week.  A good conference with great papers, lectures, field trips and opportunities to share.  The next Islands conference will be held in 2 years in Jersey UK.

The organizers are expecting to post videos and pictures on the website, so stay tuned.  I delivered the paper:

Management of Island Restaurants:
Applying the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria

R. S. Bristow1; B. Conz1; I. Jenkins2

1Westfield State University, Westfield, Massachusetts, USA
2Les Roches Gruyere University of Applied Science, Bulle, Switzerland


There are unique challenges in the management of island restaurants. While it may be reasonable to procure local seafood as part of the cuisine, other meats, produce and beverages may have to be transported great distances.  Further, in a declining economy, sustainable management practices may be less important.

The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the sustainable management practices found in a sample of restaurants found on the islands of Providenciales, North and Middle Caicos in the Turks and Caicos (TCI) to those found in the US.   Selected for this study was the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC). These criteria are designed to be the minimum practices to insure sustainability for the business as well as protect the natural and cultural resources.  Given the lack of local food products on this Caribbean island, it is hypothesized that island restaurants may be more susceptible to sustainable practices.

Data for this study come from a questionnaire administered to a sample of restaurants in both locations.  The survey is designed to collect general information about the restaurant, what kind of cuisine offered, sources of food and concludes with a few questions asking about the sustainable practices. Excluded from the sample are chain and fast food restaurants.  At present 40 restaurants have been surveyed yielding a 25% response rate in TCI and 20% rate for the region in the States.  Additional restaurants are being sampled at the time of this writing and a plan for sampling restaurants in Europe will occur in the spring of 2012.

Preliminary results indicate that for the island restaurants most food comes from either the United States or the Dominican Republic.  Exceptions to these two sources would be the local seafood, produce grown at a local hydroponic farm and most baked goods.  While many managers desire specialized foods, e.g., organic, chemical free, grass-fed or free range food, these are not readily available.  On the other hand, price, uniformity, availability and quality are important to most managers.

Management’s assessment of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria found that energy and water use were of most concern.  Electricity use, for example, was quite expensive and restaurants had few alternatives for more sustainable practices.

Encouraging prospects do exist for the island restaurants.  Potential farm land on the neighboring North and Middle Caicos could be cultivated to meet the local needs.   Most island restaurants would purchase this local food providing the cost, availability, and quality were dependable.

Keywords – global sustainable tourism criteria, restaurants, islands, local food, sustainable development

Subtheme – Sustaining Tourism after the Global Financial Crisis

25 May 2012

Former Sewer, Connecticut River nation's first BLUEWAY

A take on greenway, we now find the Connecticut River named as the country's first Blueway.See this press release from the Department of Interior. A media kit is found on that site as well.


ABSTRACT: Once referred to as America's “best landscaped sewer,” the Connecticut has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last three decades. During this time, a number of public agencies and private organizations have worked diligently to implement policies and measures aimed at improving the river's quality. Ample data collected over the years indicate that the actual water quality conditions of the Connecticut River, as measured by empirical parameters, have improved. However, prior to this study, no data existed regarding the public's perceptions of these changes. This paper will address this issue by presenting the results of a multiyear survey designed to assess the public's perceptions regarding the Connecticut's current quality, and its suitability in supporting various recreational activities. The results suggest that the majority of individuals perceive the Connecticut's water quality to be high enough to support a wide range of recreational activities including those involving physical contact with the water. Additionally, this research concludes that the vast majority of individuals who have recreated on the river for 20 years or more do perceive a significant improvement in the river's overall quality. Thus, it appears that policies and actions taken to improve the Connecticut's quality have been successful in the public's eye.

23 May 2012

Islands of the World XII Conference 2012

Next week researchers will converge on the island of Tortola for the

Islands of the World XII Conference 2012

a host of themes at the conference are much much more than tourism, but a visit to an island is always good.

Agriculture and FisheriesHealth and Social Development
Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurship
Disaster ManagementTourism
Financial ServicesCaribbean Governance and Business
Alternative Energy and Sustainable DevelopmentClimate Change and Conservation
History and CultureEducation and Literature
PhilanthropyInformation Technology

21 May 2012

Massachusetts may increase CPA funding

Massachusetts Senate is considering increasing the matching funds to support the Community Preservation Act.  The CPA is designed to match local funding to support recreation and open space, protect historic resources and create affordable housing.  I blogged about the CPA on 8 May 12, 3 May 12, 23 Mar 12, 25 Mar 12, and others (you can search on the right).

This is good news and will likely stimulate the economy.

15 May 2012

Géographie et tourisme, une relation ancienne, à faire et à refaire

or....Geography and Tourism, a longstanding relationship, to make and remake.

This article is available at the EchoGeo website and proposes a unique concern in tourism and geography from a French perspective. It builds upon the "descriptive stage" where geographers were the first to write travel guides (who would be better) to an Era of Diversity and a multi-inter-disciplinary approach to tourism studies.

I hope my Google Translate was accurate enough to get the essence of this paper.

The complete citation is:

Maria -Gravari Barbas and Sebastian Jacquot , "Geographers and tourism trades,"EchoGéo [Online], Issue 19 | 2012, Online since 10 February 2012, connecting on 15 May 2012. URL: http://echogeo.revues.org/13009

11 May 2012

Stamp Out Hunger Saturday 12 May 2012

This Saturday, Postal Carriers will collect curb side food for the local Food Pantries.  Time to donate canned goods and non-perishable food items.  Tuna Fish, Mac & Cheese, Soup, Veggies are all needed.

I know the food that our local Post Office (01085) will collect will help feed Westfield residents until September 2012.

And don't just dig out the old dusty cans in the cabinets; go to the store today and pick up some good stuff!

See this link for more info.

10 May 2012

Southwick Open Space Plan needs your input

Southwick, Massachuestts is asking your opinion for the Recreation and Open Space Opportunities.  You can participate in the study at this link.

There is not question in the survey regarding your home residence, but I suspect as long as you are a neighbor, that would be ok.

Here is your chance to direct recreation and open space opportunities in Southwick.  An example of farmland protected, see this link.

09 May 2012

Westfield Dog Bark "Strut with your Mutt"

This Saturday at 10 am, you can Strut with your Mutt, starting at Whitney Field in Westfield MA. Enter via the Shepard Street Entrance.

For more information visit us on Facebook.

08 May 2012

National Trails Day 2012

National Trails Day is Saturday 2 June 2012

What are doing that day?  Well if you don't want to participate in one of the hundred activities sponsored that day by the American Hiking Society, at least get out an hike in your favorite park.

The picture is me on the MM Trail. (Photo by Dan Smart)

05 May 2012

Super Moon Tonight

Caught this news feed from the Ottawa Citizen about tonight's great show.  The Moon will be close and as a result, look bigger.

For us in New England, the weather looks promising. And the moon should rise for us about 7:45 PM.

So after dinner, before you start studying Recreation Geography, check out the moon.

03 May 2012

How has the Community Preservation Act helped?

The Community Preservation Coalition is dedicated to help organizations and governments improve the quality of life in Massachusetts by improving recreation and open space, historic preservation and affordable housing.

For a list of communities that have adopted the CPA, see this link.

Is your community on this list?

01 May 2012

Tourism: World's Largest Industry???

Well, Dr. Alan Lew, Northern Arizona University reports in his blog that the World Travel and Tourism Council is again going to try to "prove" the title statement.  Read his blog for the details.

I mean, can tourism be bigger that the medical field?  Just look at your latest EOB (Explanation of Benefits) from your health insurance.

You've heard about the military spending $1,000 for a hammer, but what about $100 for an aspirin.

Wow, thinking about that, perhaps the military is the largest industry in the world?

30 April 2012

Is health-care tourism sustainable?

Is it sustainable?  Well, do the local citizens have access to health care.  Let us explore that a bit.

There are no reliable records of the numbers on non-medical health care professionals globally, so the data on the number of physicians per 1,000 citizens in each country from the World Health Organization (2011) will be used to identify and quantify health provisions.  Globally the median density of health care professionals is 1.15 physicians per 1,000.  

Cuba (6.4 doctors per 1,000) and Greece (6 doctors per 1,000) are found next in physician density. Cuba should come as no surprise since this country has had a long and strong history of health tourism (Goodrich 1993b; Van Wilkinson 2008).  Likewise Greece, long known for the medicinal properties of its mineral springs has the benefit of the climate and bioclimatic conditions (Didaskalou et al. 2004). Progressing down the physician density list are two other countries, Malaysia and India, both known for health tourism.  Malaysia is one of the primary destinations in southeast Asia that has had the benefit of a deliberate marketing strategy by both the private and public sectors (Leng 2007).  And we find that the density of health care professionals in Malaysia (0.94) is comparable to Grenada and Peru (0.98, and 0.92 respectively).  Further west, India’s ranking of 0.60 is similar to the availability of doctors in Iraq, Morocco and Honduras (0.69, 0.62, and 0.57 respectively).

29 April 2012

Glaciers retreating, not if, but when


Glaciers are retreating.  Many will be gone in the next 100 years.

This one is found in Glacier Bay, Alaska.

27 April 2012

Happy Birthday Dad

Today my dad would have celebrated his 95th Birthday.

Happy Birthday to to all dads out there.

26 April 2012

Confusion with Carbon Calculators

So, we are trying to calculate the carbon footprint for the annual Westfield River Canoe Race. Using two online calculators we get two different emission for the same car.  What gives?

For example from


I get this

7,768 lbs CO2 per year

Carbon Footprint Ltd.

I get this
3.73 metric tons: 12000 miles in a USA 2005 TOYOTA COROLLA 1.8, Auto(L4)

22 April 2012

International Mother Earth Day

22 April is International Mother Earth Day!

What did you do the help our planet, our people and our neighbors?

How well are we protecting out natural resources?