Despite disappointing visitor numbers at Oktoberfest, the Bavarian tourism industry is thriving like never before.
With 35 million guests visiting the southeastern state, and 90 million beds booked in 2016, the tourism industry is “an unbelievable economic boon for Bavaria,” said Bavarian tourism minister Ilse Aigner on Monday.
The number of overnight stays rose by 3 percent on 2015, while the number of visitors to Bavaria went up by 3.5 percent.
According to figures from the Bavarian tourism ministry, visitors to the state spend €35 billion a year. Meanwhile over half a million people in the state rely on tourism for their livelihood.
Spas were a particularly important factor in luring in visitors – a quarter of all overnight bookings were at health retreats.
Aigner warned though, that security fears had had a dampening effect on tourism in certain regions and at certain times.
After terror attacks in Würzburg and Ansbach in July, travellers avoided both areas of northern Bavaria for a short period of time.
Security fears were also seen as one cause of a significant dip in the number of visitors to Oktoberfest.