Not even Oprah herself has pulled off a goodwill gesture this gigantic.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his company, Chinese billionaire Li Jinyuan wanted to do something big. And so aboard 84 commercial planes he took 6,400 of his employees on an epic French vacation.
— Brisbane Journal (@brisbanejournal) May 10, 2015
The employees of Li’s company, China Tiens Group, have spent the past week on a whirlwind tour checking out French sites and shopping. In Nice, department store Galeries Lafayette shut down so the group could shop without having to wait in pesky lines.
— Stomp Singapore (@stompsingapore) May 11, 2015
And that’s just the beginning of the perks this group has enjoyed across France, which is thrilled to welcome the big spenders to the country’s top tourist attractions.
Just to get an idea of the scale of a tour group numbering more than 6,000, in Paris they booked up more than 140 hotels. Li booked an additional 4,760 rooms in Cannes and Monaco. The tour group needs more than 146 buses just to drive them around.
The trip reportedly has a price tag of nearly $14.5 million.
“And that’s without counting the shopping,” according to Christian Mantel, a French tourism official. Apparently the Chinese are notorious vacation shoppers, outspending almost every other tourist.
It’s no wonder the group had enough juice to get the Louvre shut down for a private visit.
“We have mobilized public services as well as tourism professionals, hotels, restaurants, shops and designer brands,” said Mantel. “So far everything has gone smoothly, the feedback has been extremely positive.”
Kinda makes the Diet Cokes and the free pizza on Fridays in the break room you were so excited about just a moment ago look lousy, right?