Welcome to Paris


SAY FROMAGE: Chinese tourists check out the Eiffel Tower

Just before 10 a.m. last Tuesday, staffers took up position at a back-door entrance to the Galeries Lafayette department store in central Paris. In their hands: store maps translated into Mandarin. On the red walls behind them: images of the Buddha, and of French model Laetitia Casta wearing a side-buttoned red silk Chinese outfit and a welcoming smile.

Then came the deluge. A busload of Chinese tourists poured in and started loading up on perfume, cosmetics and Fauchon chocolates. "Shopping is an important part of the trip," said Robert Huang, director of the Shanghai Business Travel Co., as...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!