From destination wedding woes to wows

The 2nd Travel Wedding Show, held at Jaipur Marriott Hotel, brought together exhibitors and buyers in a B2B speed-meeting format to transact business and promote the destination wedding market from India.

Ankita Saxena

The second edition of the Travel Wedding Show saw a total of nearly 2000 meetings conducted among 32 exhibitors and nearly 64 buyers. Representatives from various hotels like The Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Taj Hotels Palace Resorts and Safaris, Shangri-La Hotels, Rotana Hotels, Alila Hotels and Resorts, AccorHotels, Marriott Hotels India, Samode Hotels, etc. showcased various properties that can cater to Indian weddings. Various tourism boards, like Austrian National Tourist Office, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism, Tourism Fiji, Holland Tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority, also participated at the Travel Wedding Show to inform the buyers about various offerings of the destination particularly suited to cater to Indian weddings abroad.

On the first day, the exhibitors interacted with travel agents specialising in wedding tourism, and on day two, prominent event managers and wedding planners from across the country came under one roof to discuss business opportunities with the exhibitors. Rajeev Jain, Director, Rashi Entertainment, said, “It is a privilege to be a part of this Travel Wedding Show for two consecutive years. It is a very good initiative and is the need of the hour. The wedding market is growing at an exponential rate; it is estimated to grow at least by 20-25 per cent in the next 2-3 years. The market has become competitive with multiple players entering the industry, and we need such shows to bring together the suppliers and buyers of this segment to create a better business module, grow partnerships and increase the revenues out of it.”

Hema Hariramani, Director, National Sales– India, Marriott Hotels India, complimented the quality of buyer turnout at the show and also informed that the hotel chain managed to receive highly potential leads for further business opportunities. She said, “We are targeting the wedding segment in India very aggressively and for that we have launched ‘Shaadi by Marriott,’ a one-stop shop for all the needs of this industry. We have also rolled out a package called ‘Honeymoon On Us,’ which awards the partners who do weddings with us. I feel a lot of Indian weddings are moving out of India, which is a challenge. India has amazing experiential destinations and we need to educate the audience to contain the revenues within India and grow our economy.”

According to Hemant Mendiratta, Senior Vice President–Sales, The Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, the table-top format of the show was very cost effective, crisp and precise, and also, resulted in better return on investments. “The coordination at the show was fantastic; the quality of buyers was well monitored and the show was a fruitful investment of time for us,” he said.

In the words of Saurabh Bhargava, AVP Sales–North, The Taj Hotels Palace Resorts and Safaris, Indian weddings are increasingly moving towards experiential destinations and have become more intimate. Now, instead of 600-700 guests, the wedding size has reduced to 150-300 invitees and it is expected of the venue to offer an experiential element to the once-in-alifetime event. “The challenge is that the wedding dates are limited, and multiple bookings have to be catered to during this period.”

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