"Destination Wedding" Trend is Additional Source of Growth to Indian Hospitality Sector

The wedding season has arrived and people have moved out of wedding banquet hall to destination wedding, which is helping the hospitality sector to grow. Read on...

By Senior Sub-editor
"Destination Wedding" Trend is Additional Source of Growth to Indian Hospitality Sector

There is a new addition in the business of wedding in India, other than heavy jewelry and ornate expensive designer clothes, which has given the real estate business another leap, that is the destination wedding.

Indians are known for the dramatic spread of customs and traditional rituals being celebrated over a brief number of days.

While the trend of destination weddings is not exactly an Indian concept, its percolation into the globe-trotting Indian millennial milieu was inevitable. Wedding halls are passé - perfect, fairy-tale settings for one of life's most momentous events are increasingly 'in'.

It has been reported that the Indian destination wedding industry is expected to reach a market size of INR 45,000 Cr by 2020, with a projected annual growth rate of 25-30%. Factors such as the rise of the middle class, a booming economy and celebrity endorsements – amply stirred by social media-induced aspiration - have contributed to this growth.

Destination weddings have also given a major shot in the arm to wedding planners, banquet organizers and wedding apparel designers – who, in any case, had little to complain about in a country where all stops are pulled out for weddings.

However, the biggest beneficiary of the growing destination weddings trend is the hospitality sector.

The Big, Fat Indian Wedding

"In India, people are often willing to spend almost a third of their life savings on weddings. Fed on a steady social and even mainstream media diet of opulent celebrity weddings, Indian millennial are more than eager to invest in 'curated weddings' and will choose the most exotic locales they can afford to celebrate their big day," writes Mandeep Lamba, President - South Asia, HVS ANAROCK.

Data 'Accommodates' Future Growth

Mandeep writes, "The rising appetite for destination weddings is unquestionably a boon for the Indian hospitality industry, which has been on an upswing over the last few years. As per HVS ANAROCK data, 2018 saw the Indian hotel industry witness a country-wide RevPAR growth of 9.6% over 2017, to arrive at an absolute RevPAR of 3,927. In 2019, the RevPAR is expected to see 9.5% growth, with demand finally outpacing supply.

"Growth in the hospitality sector was augmented with the introduction of subsidies and schemes to push hotel construction and tourism. However, the last few years have also been unpredictable due to an oversupply of hotel rooms and competition from new brands and shared economy models.

"In such a mixed market scenario, wedding tourism and destination weddings can be a significant game-changer for the Indian hospitality industry, if promoted intelligently. Already, we are seeing the positive impact of some of India's most globally 'representative' locations promoting themselves via worldwide promotions."

Customization is ‘Key’

He further adds, "Personalization is the key to the future success of destination weddings in India. Apart from themes, there is a steady demand for newer locations from to-be couples also scouting for waterfront properties with helipads and pillar-less ballrooms, while some gravitate towards ancient forts that provide an even bigger historic touch to the 'royal wedding' ethos. Hotel chains have had to up their game to customize spaces and food to create unique experiences for millennial."

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