Chinese firms give thousands of employees free trips in Thailand, France
Updated: 2015-05-14 14:46
By He Yini(chinadaily.com.cn)
The prodcution site of Infinitus (China) Ltd in Jiangmen city, South China's Guangdong province, April 12, 2013. [Photo/IC]
Two Chinese direct-sales companies made global headlines recently for taking thousands of employees on all-paid tour to separate foreign destinations - Thailand and France.
Both firms, Infinitus and Tiens, are among the top direct-sellers in terms of sales on the Chinese mainland, following international giants like Amway of the United States and Perfect China of Malaysia.
Infinitus (China) Ltd, a Hong Kong-based company that specializes in health care, skin care and household products, recently took its 12,700 employees on a six-night package to Bangkok and Pattaya in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday.
They are set to travel in groups of 2,000-3,000 each from May 10-26, spending three nights in Bangkok and another three in Pattaya - at four- to five-star hotels. The first group arrived there on Sunday, said the newspaper citing the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
TAT acting governor Juthaporn Rerngronasa said the company's incentive tour, a boost to the country's low-season market, is expected to generate around 600 million baht ($17.9 million) in Thailand's tourism revenue this year.
China has been Thailand's biggest source of tourists over the past few years, with expectations of six million arrivals from the country this year, according to media reports citing Kasian Watanachaopisut, president of the Thai-Chinese Tourism Alliance Association.
Meanwhile, China's Tiens Group, another big direct-seller, sent more than 6,000 of its employees on a holiday to France to celebrate its 20th anniversary, shortly before Inifinitus's trip in Thailand.
According to media reports, it was the biggest-ever tour group to visit France, booking 140 hotels in Paris and 4,760 rooms in 79 four-and five-star hotels in Cannes and Monaco, and requiring 146 buses to drive them around.
They were aboard 84 commercial planes from China, who received VIP treatment during their visit and were even invited to meet with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on May 6.
Total spending of the Tiens visit, without counting the shopping, reportedly reached 13 million euros ($14.7 million) during the trip running from May 5-13.
The company operates in more than 190 other countries, according to its website, with 7.5 billion yuan in sales last year coming from Asia Pacific, according to the South China Morning Post citing industry estimation.
Li Jinyuan, founder and chairman of the conglomerate, was ranked 24th in the Hurun China rich list last year, with a personal fortune worth 35 billion yuan ($5.6 billion). The 57-year-old is listed on Forbes' 2011 list of the world's billionaires.
With an average of 1,500 euros spent on shopping, Chinese tourists are among the world's biggest holiday spenders.