India perfect to tie the knot

FICCI’s maiden Wedding Tourism Summit was held from May 25-26 in New Delhi. State governments and private stakeholders in attendance discussed opportunities in order to leverage India as a wedding destination.

The first FICCI Wedding Tourism Summit witnessed as many as 30 exhibitors, including all major hotel chains in India, interact with 50 buyers, some leading wedding planners and organisers in the country, in pre-fixed B2B meetings. Out of the total buyers, 20 were from Delhi-NCR and the rest came from other parts of India, informed Rahul Chakravarty, Senior Director and Head- Tourism, FICCI.

Rajasthan, the partner state for the Summit showcased various products in the state that can cater to the destination weddings segment in India. “We realised that the wedding tourism segment is growing rapidly and impetus has to be given to highlight this niche segment of travel. Thus, FICCI organised this first-of-its-kind Wedding Tourism Summit. Other FICCI events in the pipeline are Tourism Investor’s Summit in July, Odisha Travel Bazaar in October and a Tourism Policy Meet, which is scheduled to take place this year,” he added.

Addressing the gathering, Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said that India is doing very well in the field of tourism but if India has to achieve the target of two per cent share in global tourism by 2025, then work has to be done on diversifying several fronts. “Wedding tourism is an important aspect of tourism because people coming for weddings stay longer and they spend more. Thus, with that perspective, there is a need for us to come up with a cogent game plan about what we need to do to promote wedding tourism and this Summit is the first initiative towards that,” Billa observed. He also informed that MOT has taken note of the issues raised at the show like making it easier for charters to fly in and out; improving connectivity and taxation policies amongst others and will work on a plan to aid this segment of tourism.

According to Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson, FICCI Tourism Committee “Destinations are taking the front seat while planning weddings these days. Keeping that in mind we decided to bring the entire ecosystem in tandem. We are trying to tap into the international market from the US, UK and other parts of Europe and at the same time hold back the Indians who are travelling abroad for destination weddings.” Suri said that India has an abundance of very unique, exotic destinations that cater very well to Indian weddings and there is a need to highlight India’s potential in this regard.

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