Munich’s Oktoberfest Estimated to Generate $1.5 Billion in Tourist Revenue

Austin Ray

Photo courtesy of Paulaner Brauerei GmbH & Co. KG

THE GIST
This years Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany is expected to generate an estimated £1.18 billion ($1.56 billion) in revenue this month. The festival, which begins on Sept. 17, will likely include around 7 million visitors across its two weeks.

WHY IT MATTERS
A bit of perspective: the biggest beer festival in the U.S. last year, the Great American Beer Festival, attracts 60,000 visitors, including brewers, judges and press, over a two-day period. According to Visit Denver, GABF gave the city a $21.9 million economic boost in 2014. That’s not an insignificant number by any stretch, but it’s nothing compared to our German colleagues.

This huge disparity speaks to both the influence and impact a several hundred-year-old beer culture has on a global stage. Oktoberfest also hints at just how big modern craft beer culture could become. The BA’s mid-year report shows that the growth of craft beer’s market share is shrinking. But if you look past the statistics at what’s really happening, it isn’t craft beer withering on the bine. Instead, it’s becoming a part of our everyday culture. Is it a culture that could sustain a two-week festival attended by 7 million people, 2.6 million of which are tourists? Not yet, but it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility in the future.

—Matthew Curtis 

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How Much Income Will Oktoberfest Generate For Munich? [ABCD]