Innovative New Show Produced by VISIT FLORIDA Breaks Mold for Destination Branding

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Sept. 15, 2022): VISIT FLORIDA, along with Visit Tampa Bay, Film Tampa Bay, and Odyssey Studios, have announced the premiere of its new reality series, “Meet My Abuela.” The unscripted series is a groundbreaking shift in tourism marketing that provides Florida the opportunity to showcase Tampa as a desirable vacation destination, while uniquely and insightfully engaging the U.S. Latin market.

The series revolves around a young Latino seeking approval from their abuela, Spanish for grandmother, to take the next step of their relationship with their significant other. Veering away from traditional dating shows, “Meet My Abuela”' speaks to real life scenarios that many young people will relate to immediately. The series plays into family stereotypes, layering culture and comedy into a snappy dating show that elevates Florida and its Hispanic and Latino communities. Each episode focuses on abuela meeting the significant other through the course of a “date” and ultimately making her opinion known about their relationship. The dates take viewers to various locations throughout Tampa to showcase the destination.

VISIT FLORIDA took a youthful approach to marketing to its Hispanic audience guided by recent data on U.S. travelers. Hispanic travelers accounted for 11% of overnight leisure visitors to Florida in 2021, and nearly half (48%) were under the age of 35, compared to 24% of non-Hispanic visitors. The average age of Hispanic visitors is 40.6 years compared to 50.0 years for other travelers. This population is staying longer and spending more, spurring a more targeted approach to engaging them.

Staci Mellman, chief marketing officer of VISIT FLORIDA, is excited to bring this innovative and diverse programing to viewers. “There are so many reality shows out there, but this one foregrounds real Floridians, real families and real scenarios that viewers can relate to. It puts the real back in reality, and set to the beautiful backdrops of Tampa Bay, keeps Florida top of mind for viewers,” she said.

Eight episodes, 10-12 minutes each, will make up this first season of the series. The series will be available on Vix (the largest Spanish language streaming service), Vizio, XUMO and YouTube on September 15, 2022, the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month. This first-of-its-kind series will provide an engaging new model for destination branding efforts worldwide, by not only showcasing what Tampa Bay has to offer as a vacation hot spot but also introducing viewers to local Latino community members who make up the DNA of the destination and represent the rich culture

Santiago Corrada, CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, said, “I am as excited as I am proud to highlight Tampa’s unique Hispanic community and what it has to offer travelers. With this new key in our hands, we’re unlocking Tampa Bay’s potential like never before to entice Hispanic travelers to visit.”

Click here to view the series on YouTube. Feel free to use the hashtag #MeetMyAbuela for any social media promotion.


VISIT FLORIDA is the Sunshine State’s official tourism marketing corporation and travel planning resource for visitors across the globe. As Florida’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming over 122 million visitors in 2021, an increase of 54 percent from 2020. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs, and serves more than 13,000 travel industry partners throughout the state. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, follow @FloridaTourism on Facebook and Twitter, or go to For inspiration in the Sunshine State follow @VISITFLORIDA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit For media resources, visit

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Chiara Peretti