AUSTIN -- The world comes to Austin every March for the South by Southwest Festival. And this year, it left behind $350 million.

Yes, you read that right. Austin's economy benefited from $350.6 million this year because of the annual festival.


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Mayor Steve Adler said that's comparable to the revenue a Super Bowl brings to a city. Adler also praised the festival for its effect on taxpayers.

"Everybody in this city benefits from South by Southwest through sales taxes because every sales tax dollar that South By Southwest contributes to this economy is a dollar that we do not have to raise," said Adler.

According to SXSW, the festival is the single most profitable event for the City of Austin's hospitality industry.

In 2018, SXSW booked almost 13,000 hotel reservations. That alone generated nearly $1.8 million in hotel occupancy tax revenues for Austin, SXSW said.

Entertainment spending by SXSW goers also goes directly to restaurants, music venues, stores, transportation companies and more, according to SXSW.

Here's a look at how much money the festival brought to Austin the past three years.

In 2016 the festival brought in $325 million and in 2017 the festival raised $340 million. This year's festival increased by $10 million.