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Qingdao beer festival a global success

By XIE CHUANJIAO| China Daily| Updated: August 10, 2023


Visitors gather in a bar to celebrate the 33rd Qingdao International Beer Festival. [Photo/WeChat account: gh_7abec6fbdfe5]

With 6.17 million visitors this year, the 33rd Qingdao International Beer Festival has solidified its position as a leading global celebration of the amber nectar, experts said.

Held at Golden Beach Beer City in Qingdao West Coast New Area, Shandong province, the 24-day festival of bacchanalian revelry concluded on Sunday.

Highlighting the international flavor of the event, over 2,000 beers from 40 countries and regions were showcased at the festival, with 379 businesses participating.

Cultural activities at the venue's main stage included over 630 performers taking part in 1,110 shows, which included fashion displays, art exhibitions, concerts and drama performances.

The entertainment also featured cutting-edge light and shadow displays, illuminated landscapes, naked-eye 3D videos and fireworks.

Ten sports competitions were also held, including arm-wrestling, boxing, table tennis and street basketball, which attracted more than 6,000 competitors, organizers said.

Tourist routes were set up encouraging people to visit landmarks such as the China Movie Metropolis, local beaches and art galleries.

Cui Xijun, a senior official in charge of organizing the festival, emphasized the event's pivotal role in revitalizing Qingdao's culture and tourism sectors.

"The festival's size not only invigorates our local economy but also bolsters consumer confidence," Cui said.

During the festival the hospitality sector thrived, with hotels experiencing full occupancy and restaurants reporting peak business, he added.

A total of 80 percent of this year's festival attendees were from provinces outside Shandong, officials said.

This marked a 20 percent increase compared with the previous year. Jiangsu, Hebei and Henan provided the most outside visitors.

Wang Yixing, a repeat visitor from Jiangsu, said the festival held a special appeal for him.

"Qingdao's beer festival has become an essential part of my summer vacation. This year's edition offered an even more thrilling experience," Wang said.

"Qingdao's vibrant atmosphere injects youthful energy into every visit, making me feel rejuvenated each time."

The resounding success of the Qingdao International Beer Festival has benefits beyond its immediate economic impact.

Ji Hongyan, a senior figure in China's convention and exhibition industry, said the festival's exceptional brand value elevated Qingdao's global reputation and also helped foster a sense of national pride.

Two years ago, the brand value of the Qingdao International Beer Festival was estimated at 36.8 billion yuan ($5.09 billion).

The festival has its roots in the city's Tsingtao Brewery, which is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year.

Tsingtao's products are sold in more than 120 countries and regions and it is a leading domestic brewer with over 60 subsidiaries and factories nationwide.