Friday, June 21, 2013

"Travel Detective" Peter Greenberg scopes out Pinellas for new PBS show

The acclaimed travel editor and writer is seeking out "hidden gems" in St. Pete and Clearwater this weekend.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM

DETECTIVE WORK: From left, Peter Greenberg and VSPC Executive Director, DT Minich.
  • Daniel Veintimilla
  • DETECTIVE WORK: From left, Peter Greenberg and VSPC Executive Director, DT Minich.
CBS travel editor Peter Greenberg is in Pinellas County today, shooting for his new series which will air on PBS, not CBS — the show's title gets his name from his long time claim to fame and copyrighted appellation, the Travel Detective.

Greenberg's crew will be capturing footage for a 7-minute "Hidden Gems" segment on the show throughout Clearwater and St. Pete.

The footage from Pinellas will air in October during the first episode of the series. At a press conference this morning at the Dali Museum, he was pretty mum about what the footage will contain but did say that his next stop he said was the Hyatt in Clearwater.

The writer zipped around the room with massive masterworks with contributions from the temporary exhibition — The Royal Inheritance: Dali Works From the Spanish National Collection —chatting and answering questions from Fox 13 and other media. He had high praise for the prominent cultural destination being a hidden gem in a city where most wouldn't expect to find it.

NEWS MEN: Greenberg answers questions from Fox 13 Pinellas Bureau reporter Steve Nichols.
  • Daniel Veintimilla
  • NEWS MEN: Greenberg answers questions from Fox 13 Pinellas Bureau reporter Steve Nichols.
It's by far not Greenberg's first time in the area. Greenberg has visited the area several times; in earlier years covering Spring Training Games. In 2007, he gave St. Pete/Clearwater a nod as "a world-class" destination, categorizing it with more high-profile locales like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, who were all named to his short list of the top “affordable and unique” getaways

While discussing Tampa Bay public transportation, foreign visitor challenges and downtown Clearwater's challenges and identity crisis as both a tourist destination and the religious headquarters for Scientology, the acerbic straight-shooter responded, "It's always a quandary when those guys are around." Common perceptions aside, Greenberg isn't one for prevailing thought.

"I pride myself on never having preconceived notions," he said. The writer, who used to correspond for Newsweek makes himself accessible to all manner of travel leads. "I receive around 6,000 e-mails a week and read all them and respond to most of them. Every morning I receive 16 newspapers and 35 magazines. I pay attention. I read."

The "Travel Detective" told reporters at the press conference that he prides himself on being the only high-profile journalist who isn't selling something. Much to the chagrin of tourism boards, he'll tell people where not to go and which places to avoid, that will be a waste of money and time. His recent book is called Don't Go There: The Travel Detective's Essential Guide to the Must-Miss Places of the World.

The show is one more project in the busy media mogul's routine. He serves as Chief Contributing Editor for Michelin Travel, Editor at Large of Global Business Travel magazine and a contributing writer to Forbes.com, CBS.com, Oprah.com and more. Greenberg has been featured on CNN, Oprah, The View, Dr. Phil, Extra, and many other programs and publications.

If you run into Greenberg, give him a unique suggestion (most likely he's been there) and ask him where to go. He'll give you a succinct answer and hand you a business card, tell you to "kick ass" and walk away while your hand is out. He is indeed a man on the go.

Read more about Greenberg's visit and his upcoming series, Travel Detective, in CL's upcoming Travel Issue coverage.

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