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Asian visitors attracted to Miami

Reporter: Nitza Soledad Perez 丨 CCTV.com

04-03-2016 11:36 BJT

Florida is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, but until recently that often didn't include Asian visitors. Now, thanks in part to a marketing campaign, thousands are coming to the state to enjoy the warm weather and its unique Latin flare. CCTV's correspondent talked to some of the visitors and filed this report.

Very good mojito! Little Havana is becoming a melting pot with an influx of Asian tourists adding new life to the traditional Latino community.

More Asian tourists, especially the Chinese, are visiting this colorful part of Miami. One tour operator credits a change several years ago in the granting of visas between the United States and China, allowing Chinese tourists to stay longer and come more often.

Tourism officials have launched ad campaigns to lure visitors. At Cuba Tobacco Cigar, workers are learning to say basic words in Mandarin.

Chinese tourists get a chance to see how cigars are made and learn a little bit of Cuban culture, while they shop.

"They are very generous, so not only do they purchase cigars for themselves, but also to take back home as gifts. 21642 It has made a big difference, we are very pleased with the Chinese tourists in Little Havana," said Peter Bello, CEO of Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co..

Cross Culture Tours established shop in South Florida five years ago. The first year, they only had 100 customers, but they knew it was all about to change.

"It's been three years, every year the members increased more than 200 percent per year," said Shirley Liu, Operations Manager of Cross Culture Tours.

This area of Little Havana is just one of the stops. They also visit the Everglades, go on boat tours, and of course, do some shopping in South Beach.

What else is behind the surge in Asian tourism?

"The people here, people are really nice. That's what my mom always says. Second here, the environment is very comfortable, the culture here is really fantastic," said a Chinese tourist Amy Wang.

"It's a popular place; it's warm here," said a Chinese-American tourist
Thomas Zhang.

"They can try the cigar, that and listen to music you know happy all around, and the culture is really different from China," said Shirley Liu.

More than a quarter million Chinese tourists visited Florida in 2014?and many of them today are repeat visitors, like Qing Lan, the dancer of the group, who's already improving her salsa moves.

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