New reality show 'Meet My Abuela' aimed at showcasing Tampa

A new reality show filmed in Tampa is unscripted and designed to make viewers want to visit the area. "Meet My Abuela" is a drama-filled dating show, set to the backdrop of Hillsborough County.  

The show features local couples seeking the approval of their Hispanic grandmothers. The micro-series also highlights Latin culture around Tampa Bay while showcasing the area to potential travelers. It's a new genre of destination marketing.

Each 15-minute episode is a powerful production team-up of Visit Tampa Bay, Visit Florida, Film Tampa Bay and Odyssey Studios. These are all groups that want to inspire folks to come visit the area.

"This is another way to market a destination to an audience that might not have been exposed to the destination," Santiago Corrada, the president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, said.

Hillsborough County Film Commissioner Tyler Matinolich said the show gives viewers a 12-minute commercial of what makes Tampa awesome using a fun storytelling device. 

The 8-episode series premiered September 15 for the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, giving viewers bite-sized entertainment they can binge. 

"You want to see what happens with the next couple," said Corrada.  "You want to see what part of Tampa pops up on the screen."

"Meet My Abuela" is streaming on YouTube and three other platforms including Vix, the largest Spanish language streaming service, pitching Tampa Bay to the Latin market.

"If that leads a single person to googling Tampa, looking at our amenities, considering maybe visiting here, it makes the whole show worth it," Martinolich said.

Visit St. Pete-Clearwater created a similar scripted tourism marketing series released on Amazon Prime last May.