India, a wedding haven

Travel and hotel bookings for India, witness a strong growth on the return of the upcoming wedding season. TravTalK spoke to segment experts who share their perspective on a massive surge in wedding travel and bookings that can revive the domestic tourism.

Hazel Jain

While small, intimate weddings are widely trendy, large-scale weddings are likely to rebound by early next year. Arif Patel, Regional VP – Sales & Marketing, Hyatt India, said on the surge in wedding travel bookings: “This wedding season has been great, and the future months look promising too. Unprecedented demand has seen, a majority of wedding destinations being fully booked, especially on saya dates.”

Due to the increasing demand caused by COVID-19 and government-imposed limitations as well as closure of international borders, “our hotels in important wedding destinations are fully booked until February 2022, on both saya and non-saya dates. As a result, this season may turn out to be the busiest season for weddings”,” he says.

According to him, the preference is obviously for destination weddings with Jaipur and Goa taking precedence, and this trend will rule the upcoming season as well. Patel added, “As international borders are still not open, international destination weddings have shifted to India. Due to huge demand, most wedding destinations are full till Mar 2022, so the demand is moving towards cities. Within Hyatt’s portfolio, Goa, Kochi, Bishangarh (Jaipur) have been popular wedding destinations; however, we also do have a strong business on books in city hotels such as Andaz New Delhi, Grand Hyatt Mumbai, Hyatt Regency Chandigarh, and Kolkata.”

Budgets remain unchanged

As per Patel, the willingness to pay has increased. “The availability of the venue has become a top priority, and customers are willing to pay more to book in advance.” Many industry providers have increased their rates in order to fund the COVID-related protocols. Clients who spent more money on international destination weddings are ready to spend the same amount on a more luxury and enhanced experience,” he opined.

Bookings exceeded this year!

At the outset, Sterling Holiday Resorts has exceeded its pre-COVID numbers in weddings with an overall increase in
wedding queries by 50 per cent to 60 per cent, claimed Vikram Lalvani, Chief of Revenue, Sales and Destinations, Sterling Holiday Resorts.”

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