From the moment the lord mayor taps the first cask in mid-September, Munich erupts into the two-week frenzy of Oktoberfest.
The world’s largest and most famous beer festival (Sept. 19–Oct. 4 this year) began with the wedding in 1810 of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The horse race staged in celebration was so popular it was repeated annually; nearly a century later, beer tents were added, gradually morphing into today’s brew fest.
A parade of bands, carriages and lavishly decorated horsedrawn brewery wagons heralds Oktoberfest’s kick-off on the opening Saturday. The next day’s costume and marksmen parade marches through the heart of the city in an even more colorful display of Bavarian culture with elaborate floats, traditional dancers, regional costumes, flag-throwers, horse-drawn brewery drays and marching bands. On the second Sunday, a huge open-air concert features all the Oktoberfest bands, about 400 musicians.
For the rest of the 16-day festival, activity centers on the huge beer tents at the heart of this carnival in the Wiesn festival grounds, where about 6.3 million people consume 6.4 million liters (about 6.7 million quarts) of draft beer. Tents of the seven large breweries line Wirtsbudenstrasse, where Augustiner still serves beer from large wooden barrels (the others have gone to steel kegs). The Hackerbräu tent features a revolving stage for traditional Bavarian bands and entertainment; of course, Munich’s famous Hofbräu has a tent. All serve traditional Bavarian foods, but the Ochsenbraterei-Spatenbräu tent has an old-fashioned ox roast, and the Schützenfesthalle serves roast suckling pig with steins of Löwenbräu.
Smaller tents run by local beer halls sometimes offer more character. Smallest is the Fischer-Vroni tent, serving Augustiner beer and grilled fish. The Armbrustschützen serves Paulaner beer in themed booths dedicated to hunting quarry such as pheasant or wild boar. For those who love a party but not beer, one tent serves only wines and Weissbier, a German wheat beer. It’s not all about brews; the Wiesn is also filled with traditional music, dancing, variety shows and carnival rides from old-fashioned carousels to hair-raising thrill rides.
While tourists from the world over flock to Munich, Germans themselves are more likely to head for Stuttgart’s Cannstatter Volksfest, held Sept. 25–Oct. 11 this year. Second only to Oktoberfest, Cannstatter Volksfest began in 1818 as a harvest festival celebrating the end of a famine. It’s marked late September ever since, its beer tents, music, costume parades, rides and fireworks drawing 4 million people. Locals arrive in traditional lederhosen and dirndl dresses to drink beer and eat wursts; travelers looking for an authentic experience amid Germans will find it here.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.