Vacation Blues as Tourists Stay at Home

Atlantide Phototravel / Corbis

LOW SEASON Roman souvenir vendors cope with slower times

On a typical weekend afternoon, Beijing's Silk Street Market buzzes with the sound of tens of thousands of tourists haggling over antiques, jewelry and knock-off Gucci handbags. Rickshaw drivers normally scoop up these marketgoers, pedal them to their hotels and return with pockets full of foreign currency — a lucrative cycle drivers can repeat dozens of times a day. In recent months, though, the Silk Street Market's once reliable bustle has thinned dramatically. "I haven't seen a single tour bus pulling into the market this morning," says Lao Qian, a 49-year-old rickshaw driver taking a long lunch break. "And I've had...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

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!