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Oktoberfest hoteliers pump up prices six-fold

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Photo: DPA
16:28 CEST+02:00
Hotels in Munich are getting ready to cash in on the world’s biggest beer festival, the Oktoberfest, which starts next Saturday. The Local has found some room prices up by 500 percent.

The beer festival, which takes place on Munich's Theresienwiese, gives a huge boost to the city's hotels.

But the inflated demand for accommodation, from the lowliest guesthouse room to the most luxurious five-star suite, allows the hoteliers to charge many times their normal rate.

The Local scoured the internet for price comparisons of the same room type in the same hotel, for the night of September 21st - the first day of Oktoberfest – and for bookings outside of the festival in the early months of next year.

In the one-star category, the Schmellergarten hotel's rate of €61 increases to €170 - a rise of 179 percent on prices outside of the festival season.

With two stars, the Hotel Dolomit would normally charge €53 a night, but at Oktoberfest a room costs €255, a five-fold increase.

At three stars, the rural-themed Landhotel Martinshof would normally charge €74 a night, but on September 21st, the rate goes up 137 percent to €175.

The four-star-rated NH München Unterhaching has a mark-up of more than 500 percent from its normal rate of €83 a night to €500.

And at the five-star Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski, the last unbooked room at the time of our research, an executive suite - which would normally cost €1,037 per night - almost doubles in price for Oktoberfest. The price for September 21st is €2,000, a 92 percent mark-up.

Prices at hotels in the Munich area likewise increase during Oktoberfest. The average nightly rate in neighbouring Erding has gone up 55 percent to €134, and in Ismaning by 40 percent to €141, according to website Travel Daily News.

According to Travel Daily News average hotel prices in Munich are up by 69 percent in September, and 15 percent higher than September 2012.

Frank-Ulrich John, boss of Bavarian hoteliers' association BHG, told The Local that Oktoberfest was "enormously important" to Munich and the surrounding area. "It's one of the busiest times of the year in terms of demand for hotel rooms", he said.

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Asked about the sharp rise in average room rates since Oktoberfest 2012, John said that none of the hotels or guest houses he was in contact with had logged such price rises.

However, he did suggest room prices posted on hotel search websites can often be much higher than visitors would actually end up paying if they contact the hotel directly.

Alex Evans

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