A promotional video urging Chinese tourists to “inundate” an Italian town has become a viral hit, reports the website of China’s official Xinhua news agency.”Welcome, our dear Chinese friends. We will not disappoint you,” declared Marco Zambuto, mayor of the Italian town of Argrigento, in the minute-long video released online on April 17. The appeal was voiced in Italian but came with Chinese subtitles, as Zambuto urged Chinese tourists to visit his city to enjoy its history and culture.
After introducing viewers to Argrigento’s popular sights and attractions, Zambuto even showed off some Chinese at the end of the video, saying “We won’t let you down” in Mandarin.The video was picked up by Italy’s major media outlets within 24 hours of its release and is quickly spreading across Chinese news websites and microblogs.There were several reasons why Zambuto decided to make the video. “First, because Chinese people now represent a big portion of international tourism flows,” the mayor said in an interview with Xinhua.
Secondly, both Italians and Chinese are backed by ancient civilizations, which might make Chinese tourists “inclined” to appreciate Agrigento and Sicily, the “true pearls of Italy,” he said. “It seems to me that Chinese people today are increasingly curious and willing to discover new things,” he added.
Argrigento, located on the south coast of Sicily, was founded by the Greeks around 582BC and would go on to be ruled by the Carthaginians and Romans, followed by the Arabs and Normans. The town’s Valley of the Temples, which contains at least 20 of the world’s most intact Doric temples built than 2,500 years ago, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.