The Vacation Recession

The travel industry is hurting, forcing companies and countries to scramble for visitors

ILLUSTRATION FOR TIME BY JACK MOLLOY; PHOTO: GETTY

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 knockoff 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 that 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 a...

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