Neelu Singh, the chief executive and director of Ezeego1, a travel booking website, talks about the rapidly rising trend of couples seeking exotic locations for their weddings within India and abroad.
What kind of growth are you seeing in bookings of destination weddings among Indians and what is driving this demand?
We have witnessed a growth of 25 to 30 per cent in the number of destination weddings this season as compared with the same time last year. The wedding industry has become a multibillion-dollar business in India. Indians have this never-ending desire to have the most lavish wedding – be it in India or internationally. Also, with the increased spending power in India, the concept of destination wedding is not limited to the rich. We are seeing a rise in the number of middle-class families increasingly opting for destination weddings and combining them with holidays.
What are the most popular places when it comes to destination weddings?
In India, destinations like Udaipur, Goa, the Andaman Islands and Manali are the most preferred wedding destinations, while internationally, Malaysia, Thailand, the Maldives, Oman, Dubai and Sri Lanka are some of the favourites. Countries that offer visa on arrival and short travel distance destinations are the most preferred by Indians. We also see a lot of Indian families turning towards cruising as an ideal wedding destination.
Are tourism boards actively tapping this market – and how?
Weddings in India are known for their opulence and extravagance. Tourism boards of many countries are enticing customers with incredible customised offerings – beautiful locales, cultural festivals, beach weddings, wildlife safaris, luxury hotels providing Indian and multi-cuisine preparations, and spa and wellness. Several international tourism boards are running aggressive promotion campaigns and roadshows to position themselves as wedding destinations. Tourism boards are also tying up with local wedding planners to market their destinations exclusively.
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