FRIDAY, JAN. 13: Okay Bermuda listen up. And that means the Government and the Tourism Ministry, too.
Phil Keoghan is coming here this weekend to film some footage of Bermuda. He is the host of The Amazing Race, a phenomenal reality TV show aired on the CBS network and then subsequently, all over the world. A spin-off show, The Ultimate Bermuda Experience, is to be filmed here. Wow...you can’t buy that sort of exposure!
TV shows are by far the best way to get a message of anything out to the world. By far. And Bermuda is, hopefully — as long as we don’t kill anyone or rob a tourist or do something equally as sinister to screw it up — about to get a real dose of international stardom through what Mr Keoghan is about to do for us.
This is what the Bermuda tourism people have been hungering for. If the footage is cool, if the footage is indeed reflective of how good Bermuda can be and is, this show will translate a message to all of North America that is worth ten times what the tourism people here could pay anyone to do.
Forget the English crew hired to promote Bermuda. Forget junkets to Toronto to ignite interest in our hamlet from cashed up Torontonians. This is the big show, baby.
TV in the US is the best way to get the Bermuda message to Americans.
If they see the clear water, if they get educated about what the temperatures are like here, if they get a glimpse of our golf courses and our relaxed lifestyle... they will come.
And we need them to come. Bermuda needs Americans to come back here in numbers, and TV is the ultimate opportunity to achieve this.
So, let’s look at reality for a moment — the reality of just what we can offer cashed up American tourists. Given that TV is the best vehicle to attract visitors here and given that our closest neighbours are US citizens, we need to get our TV shows — and with them tourism-based ads about Bermuda, into the United States.
If we can create a TV show that has a Tourism Board-sponsored 60 second ad in it that is purchased by US TV stations en masse, then we have a shot, a real shot at attracting over 200,000 tourists to our shores next summer season!
Let’s suppose that each tourist will spend at least $175 while here — and that’s a conservative figure — then 200,000 x $175 equals $35 million for our economy!
I’m pretty certain Somers Cooper at AS Coopers, or the crew at the Phoenix Centre and the blokes at The English Sports Store — to mention just a few — would welcome those figures. Especially in light of how badly retail has suffered over the past three years.
But here’s the rub.
We know that TV is the best possible medium, we know that if that message is delivered to them on TV, they will come. Sort of a Field Of Dreams thing really.
So... did you know that the OBA is sitting on a potential deal and concept that includes the Tourism Board here, TV produced here and a business plan incorporating both that will get the Bermuda message to many citizens of the US? Songopoly presented Patricia Gordon-Pamplin with the business plan last year when she was the Shadow Tourism Minister and she duly loved it. She presented it to the OBA and the result is simple — should they implement the idea they will not only win the election, they will get Bermuda back on track as the pre-eminent tourism destination for all North Americans. It is that simple.
Through an initiative that will cost $3million, the Songopoly blueprint presented to the OBA has the potential to completely turn the tourism problem/issue around and at the same time put $35million into the Bermuda economy.
And it all revolves around TV. When the OBA is ready, it will reveal the concept. I’m prohibited from doing so at this moment, but suffice to say, if the TV game show of Songopoly is made in Bermuda for the US market, then advertised and distributed correctly in the US — tourism in Bermuda will go through the roof.
Needless to say, everyone is excited about Phil Keoghan coming here this weekend because it will open the doors and eyes of those who can prosper from TV. And that’s an amazing reality!
Ric Chapman is Executive Producer of SONGOPOLY TV