Many will take luxury holidays at home, travel operator Quanar said, amid global travel restrictions.
But the absence of their tourist dollars this year will leave regional nations — from Thailand to Cambodia — wincing from the economic pain caused by the prolonged closure of borders.
At Beijing's Capital Airport — whose check-in rows and aisles were empty in February — thousands of passengers queued up with their luggage and children in tow.
Life in the Chinese capital has gradually returned to normal after ghostly scenes of empty roads in January and February, and a second virus coronavirus outbreak in June.
The once eerily empty streets in the city's financial district are packed, previously deserted malls are full of shoppers and ice rinks have filled with children learning to skate again.
Chinese retail sales edged back to growth in August for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck, signaling a rebound for the world's second-largest economy.
(Writer: Nicolas Asfouri)
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