STORY: With China celebrating the Lunar New Year, Asia's tourism hotspots have been bracing for the return of Chinese tourists, who spent $255 billion a year globally before the pandemic. Countries from Thailand to Japan had depended on China as their largest source of foreign visitors.
Beijing in December abruptly dropped some of the toughest COVID restrictions on earth, which had battered the world's second-biggest economy.
Business owner Yoyo Chen, 32, from Yiwu in central China, said returning to Thailand felt like coming home.
"I'm here to eat seafood. Previously, when I was here, I ate mango sticky rice, which was delicious. Back in China I kept thinking about the mango sticky rice here. I'm looking forward to the food, as well as visiting the beaches," Chen said.