Tagg TV Guyana is a London-based company producing reality Internet TV shows that promote tourism in the Caribbean South American country.The videos, which are posted on Tagg TV’s website, YouTube and other social media, show Guyana’s people, places and products. The London stars are Tagg TV founder and president Chris Bassoo, who hosts it in Guyana with Miss Canada, Jaclyn Miles, and Sabrina Pierson, host of London’s Rogers’ cable show Daytime. It’s been “’like a snowball in the Caribbean—in the Amazon, in South America. It just keeps on growing and growing,’ Bassoo describes it as he finishes his curried beef and roti at Georgetown’s largest mosque.”
The idea — an Internet-based reality-TV show showcasing the overlooked nation’s tourism potential — has snowballed, and at lightning speed. In the four weeks since he flew in to Guyana from London, and after a ton of ground work, Bassoo and his Tagg TV team have pushed themselves into the spotlight of Guyanese society and charmed them with the idea of showing the world all the good things about their Third World country.
They’ve begun the three-week grind of shooting 50, six-minute Internet reality-TV shows with Jaclyn Miles, the reigning Miss Canada from London, and cable-TV host Sabrina Pierson, another Londoner, along with Alana Seebaran, the reigning Miss India Worldwide, who’s from Guyana has just come on board. [. . .] The film crew is made up of young Guyanese and Canadian film makers.
Bassoo’s done a unique business plan anchored in social media, an understanding of Guyanese culture (his parents are from the country), an additional concern for social justice issues and some sexy sizzle with some popular pageant queens. All he needed was for someone to understand the product he says has the potential to reach millions of Facebook users simply by using their friendship networks. “And here in Guyana, they really get it,” he said.
[. . .] Sunday, at Georgetown’s biggest mosque, the Tagg TV gang were there in full traditional dress to share the cultural experience of the Muslim holiday. They served meals and posed for the cameras. Footage for another episode was in the bank. It’s been quite an eye-opener for the Londoners, They’ve dined at restaurants and ice cream parlours, were VIPs at an enormous chutney music concert, posed at Georgetown’s sea wall and botanical gardens, shopped at its old Strabroek Market, had their hair and make-up done, worked out — all, on camera. In coming weeks, they’ll venture into the jungle to explore some of the unspoiled rainforest of the former British and Dutch colony, birdwatch and see Kaieteur Falls, a natural wonder.
[. . .] For a cash-strapped government with a myriad of social and infrastructure problems, Bassoo’s Internet TV idea costs it nothing for the production or the distribution. There may be a safe-proof way Bassoo will be able to show that Tagg TV is working. It seems no one here, in a country of only 750,000, doesn’t know someone living in Canada, the United States or Great Britain — relatives that first fled the country in the 1970s during the “brain-drain” of educated Guyanese. Estimates of the number of Guyana ex-pat run as high as 500,000 to 750,000 — double the population living in the sparsely-settled place. It’s that Facebook linked-in diaspora, curious about their old country, that could be the multitude of Facebook taggers that will make the concept work.