Global tourism industry wooing Indian weddings

Global tourism industry wooing Indian weddings

New Delhi: The big fat Indian wedding is being lured out of the country by global hotel chains and tourism boards of several countries who are flocking to India in a bid to grab a piece of the lucrative market.

And well-heeled Indian grooms and brides, looking for an exotic location or a once-in-a-lifetime experience to make their wedding memorable, are beginning to succumb.

If these attempts succeed then a small but significant part of the cash-rich Indian wedding market, with a reported turnover of $20 billion, will probably be moving overseas.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Sands Corporation of Las Vegas, which owns plush new hotels in Singapore and Macau, have already started pitching for the lucrative “desi" wedding business.

“Weddings are one of the most profitable niche tourism markets in the world and India with it’s famously opulent weddings is on top of everybody’s wish list. We are planning a new advertising campaign and will offer special packages and sops to attract Indian couples," Chattan Kunjara Nu Ayudha, director TAT, told PTI.

The recently opened Marina Bay Sands, a multi-billion dollar hotel in Singapore recently organised a special road show in India offering ‘Pheras in the Sky’ and glitzy casino receptions. The casino nuptials are probably to emphasise that marriage is, after all, a gamble.

While TAT’s Ajudha is planning a new advertising campaign to offer special packages and sops to attract Indian couples, the CEO of the Sands Corporation Sheldon Anderson is pitching the seven-star Marina Bay Sands in Singapore as a dream destination.

“Indian weddings are famous worldwide for their opulence and they are definitely part of our target market," Sheldon said.

Word has obviously got around that Indian weddings often last a whole week with several major functions thrown in. And hotel chains are salivating in anticipation.