28 December 2010

On the road with Chinese Grand Tourists

The Economist has an interesting, amusing, and astonishingly in-depth profile of some of the newest Grand Tourists: 
A sketch map of the Chinese grand tour must begin in France, the country seen as offering all the essential European virtues: history, romance, luxury and quality. Paris shops such as Louis Vuitton are essential stops: witness their Mandarin-speaking staff. In 2009 Chinese tourists passed Russians as the highest-spending non-European visitors to France, according to a survey of duty-free shops. The south of the country is also popular, thanks in part to widely available translations of Peter Mayle’s book “A Year in Provence” and in part to a slushy Chinese television mini-series, “Dreams Link”, which was filmed amid the lavender fields and walled citadels of the Midi.
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