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

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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

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