Every year, approximately 6 million people visit the world famous beer festival, Oktoberfest. However, surprisingly about 71% of the visitors are from Bavaria, with 58% being from the Munich area itself. American, Swiss and Italian visitors are most common among the 14% of foreign people arriving in Munich.
The festival has changed a lot throughout the years. Today, the Oktoberfest is well-known all over the world and boasts of a good reputation. But in the earlier days the festival was a bit more loud and full of fighting, as confirmed by locals. They consider the beer festival more modern and international now, which has contributed to the improved reputation.
The festival has been very well attended, despite recent safety concerns throughout Europe. Last year there was a slight fall in numbers, but this year all seems as positive as always. This year’s edition, which started on Sept 16, attracted 6.2 million guests. This is 600 thousand more than in 2016. The top 10 source markets were the USA, Great Britain, Austria, France, Switzerland, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Denmark. However, there were guests from 65 more countries. Visitors drank 7.5 million liters of beer and ate 127 oxen and 59 calves.
However, there have been some reservations from locals about the Oktoberfest in its modern fashion. The impression of some is that the beer festival is becoming too massive and flooded by tourists and should stop expanding. Some even call the Oktoberfest a “money-making machine” that has lost its traditional look. And perhaps there is some truth to that, seeing as the festival is estimated to be worth about a billion euros.
Many find the costs disturbing and there have been various discussions about this matter every year. Another issue is the availability of organic food at the festival, which is questioned by many locals as well as experts. Despite all this, however, visitors flood Bavaria in millions every year, ready to experience one of the biggest parties of their life.