Vacationers enjoy the fine weather and the shallow clear waters of Miami Beach in Florida. (Photo : Getty Image)
In terms of probable sales from the Chinese market, travel agencies in the Sunshine State find the future bright and sunny.
Florida, the 27th state of America, tries to captivate the interest of more Chinese to swim on its white sand beaches, observe how Cuban cigars are made, check out the sights at the Universal Studio, greet Mickey and his friends at the “original” Disney World, play golf, or simply frolic under its sunny skies.
Some 270,000 Chinese toured Florida in 2014, according to China Daily.
This year, the figures may likely rise further.
The state’s tourism officials initiated marketing campaigns to attract more Chinese tourists, reported CCTV America.
Shirley Liu, operations manager for Cross Culture Tours, said they provided services to 10,000 Chinese tourists--90 percent from the mainland--in 2015.
“We are very pleased with the Chinese tourists in Little Havana,” said Peter Bello, owner of Cuba Tobacco Cigar.
Cigar chops and art galleries dot the streets of Little Havana, a neighborhood in Miami where Hispanic culture thrives.
Rolando Aedo, the vice president of marketing and tourism for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, said that the Chinese know Miami because of the Miami Heats, one of National Basketball Association’s teams, reported Miami Herald.
Aedo said that because basketball is “very popular” in the country, the locals became familiar with Miami.
D.T. Minich, when he was still the CEO of St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, flew to China in 2013 and 2014 to market Pinellas County, reported Tampa Bay Times.
Minich promoted the county as “a quieter, more relaxed, more family-friendly Florida destination” with beaches, golf resorts and museums.
Lili Zheng of Miami-based Sunny International Travel said that some 11,000 Chinese visited Florida through her travel agency in 2011. The city welcomed 13,600 in 2013.
Zheng told Tampa Bay Times that the Chinese like going to the beach and that the beaches in Florida are “more beautiful” than those in China.
According to the Economic Impact Report 2016 of the World Travel & Tourism Council, Chinese tourists spent $215 billion last year, reported WTTC website.
U.S. officials anticipate 3.4 million Chinese tourists on American soil in 2018, according to Sun Sentinel.
Who wants to try a freshly rolled Cuban cigar?