Beijing: Imagine getting an all-paid trip to France, from your companyâ€™s end. No, no, not on official purposes; just to have a ball. No work, only doing all things touristy. Yes, fully sponsored by your company. Forget it, it sounds too good to be true.
Not if you work for the Tiens Group.
This Chinese company has given 6,400 of its employees the gift of a lifetime: a free four-day trip to France and Monaco.
Tiens Group, led by Chinese billionaire Li Jinyuan, organised the vacation for half of its employees to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the multinational firm, which dabbles in everything from biotechnology to tourism and cosmetics.
The travelers took up almost 5,000 rooms in the French resort of Cannes and neighboring affluent microstate of Monaco, in addition to 140 Parisian hotels. The Asian sightseers represent Franceâ€™s largest tour group, and were treated to a private tour of the Louvre and aÂ live performance of the cabaret Moulin Rouge.
During the four-day break between Paris and Nice, the group is expected to spend â‚¬13 million (Â£9.5 million) on hotels, food and excursions.
â€œWe have have mobilised public services as well as tourism professionals, hotels, restaurants, shops and designer brands,â€ Christian Mantel, head of Atout France, a tourism development agency, said.
For their part, Tiensâ€™ employees did not merely amble around gaping at Franceâ€™s cultural offerings. While on vacation, they also set an ambitious new Guinness World Record for the longest â€œhuman-made phraseâ€.