Europe gains rank for Indian weddings
The destination weddings market from India is growing at 30-40 per cent annually, with an ever-increasing number of travellers scouting for new and exotic destinations in India and abroad to tie the knot. Ras Al Khaimah, Sri Lanka and Turkey are emerging
The Indian travellers today are looking for new experiences and destinations. The most popular destinations for weddings continue to be Thailand, Malaysia and Bali. The cost for an Indian wedding in Thailand is around R` 70,000-80,000 per person whereas it can cost up to ` 2 lakh per person in Europe. Other popular destinations include Dubai and Abu Dhabi while Ras Al Khaimah is an emerging destination. Turkey and Sri Lanka are also some of the upcoming destinations that are very friendly in terms of Indian weddings abroad.
We have seen the destination weddings market scale up to new heights in the last few years. The Indian market is evolving and people are no longer looking for a conventional wedding arrangement. They are willing to experiment and explore all parts of the world. Destinations like Turkey, Greece, South Africa, Jordan, Bali, etc., are a favourite among Indians for getting married abroad. However, until recently, food arrangement had been a major challenge in destination weddings for Indians.
The big fat Indian wedding business is a booming one with a growth rate of 30-40 per cent year-on-year. Though Thailand tops the list as a popular destination for weddings, I feel Muscat is also a destination with good infrastructure to cater to Indian weddings. Other destinations that can soon gain a lot of attention for Indian weddings abroad include Sri Lanka and Singapore in Asia, and Austria in Europe. Destination weddings have become popular and we have seen that even mid-sized families are now considering weddings at exotic locations in India and abroad.
Today, our clients come to us with out-of-the-box destination requests for weddings, which not only shows that the destination wedding market is growing but also that the Indian clientele is evolving. Destinations that are gaining popularity are Ajman, Bahrain, Baku, etc. Italy and Austria are also upcoming destinations for Indian weddings abroad. Thailand and Dubai have now become run-down destinations. The major challenges in this industry are flight connectivity and large number of seats required in bulk on a particular route.
We have received an increased number of queries for European destinations. Switzerland, Austria and Spain are the upcoming hotspots. Flight connections are the biggest challenge when one wants to travel to Europe for weddings. Tourism boards are our points of contact at the desired destinations, which help us partner with the right logistic providers. Beach destinations that have good flight connections are also very popular. Seasonality issues is another deciding factor when choosing a wedding destination. For a European destination wedding, one needs to plan at least a year in advance.
The Indian travellers today have moved beyond traditional destinations for travel purposes and the same applies to destination weddings as well. Some European destinations that are emerging for this sector are Italy and Greece while Dubai and Thailand are the most common destinations. The average cost per person for a destination wedding for a minimum 3-4 nights is ` 40,000-50,000, excluding the air fare. Getting flight tickets for a large pax is the biggest challenge in this segment.
Madhulika Saraf Director Gainwell Weddings and Events
Varender Anand Managing Director Upasana Wedding Planners
Karishma Shah Senior Consultant- MICE,
Ekta Sharma Managing Director Khyaath Design Holidays
Rizwan Sherif Managing Director Sherif Travel and Tours
Surinder K. Dewan Managing Director Dewan Travels