The fantastic journey of the DWP Bizz Edge Series continues with the third episode with a spotlight on the Indian destination wedding market. Every year more than 10 million weddings take place in India and the Indian destination wedding industry is expected to reach a market size of INR 450 billion with a projected annual growth of 25-30%, according to a KPMG report. COVID-19 may have put a dent in the $50 billion industry, but even as weddings scale down — embracing home settings and handwritten invites — experts say they will become more mindful, with a focus on quality.
Wedding Trends Post-COVID-19
Picture Courtesy: @theweddingdesigncompany
Vandana Mohan, Founder, The Wedding Design Company, India highlighted these as the go-to trends for destination weddings post-COVID:
Weddings will go intimate. Local destinations will become really important. Mindful consumption and responsible spending will be the way forward. Local will rule over global!
Homestyle wedding– Unclatterred and personalized style is going to be trending. Whichever your location is, it can become something like home. It won’t be fussy and will focus more on the experience. Décor will be important as couples would not want to compromise on their special day. Sanitization and health factors of the venue will play a major role in deciding the
Hyper-personalization: Everything you do will get noticed. All the designers have to put their best look forward. Quality will matter.
Sustainability and recycling will be the go-to trends – ‘Go Green’ was anyways classified as one of the top trends for 2020 before the pandemic, and now, it makes even more sense to adopt this trend when it comes to designing the theme.
Destination Checkpoints To Increase Confidence
Picture Courtesy: @motwane.co
Aditya Motwane, Founder of Motwane Entertainment & Weddings from Mumbai, India mentioned few checkpoints which tourism boards should keep in mind to increase confidence in couples and wedding planners to choose their destination:
* Unilateral overhaul of systems, processes, and SOPs across the world- Everything should be done to ensure that the destination has people who have proper training and skillsets to ensure that health and safety are never compromised. A certificate ensuring that the particular hotel or area is COVID-free can be very effective to ensure the clients that they can enjoy without having to worry about the virus.
* Strong & Effective Communication – In times of uncertainty, how you pitch your brand matters the most. Communication is the key here. For the short term, consider targetted social media campaigns and PR. In a longer run, think in terms of re-branding.
* Reduction in prices to augment value perception – Empathy will go a long way right now. Be aware of the market conditions and the competitors in terms of what they are offering to the clients. Offer flexibility in price and make a customized package to offer ease of payment.
* Develop a 360-degree package for the new normal – There will be a huge shift in paradigm. From the way we advertise to the ways weddings are organized, everything will have a new meaning. The core values will change and hence it is important to strategize new business models. Invest 2020 in salvaging and re-building.
Hotels: What To Expect Post-COVID
Picture Courtesy: @tamarindglobalweddings
Mahesh Shirodkar, Managing Director, Tamarind Global, India shares his expertise in the hospitality sector. He spoke with various luxury hotel chains regarding the measures they are taking to ensure a safe event at their premises. Hotels are doing everything to ensure the safety of their guests.
Hotels have worked round the clock to implement strict safety norms. Individual units will be upping the ante to get USPs within the corporate mandate. Public areas will be strictly monitored. Cleaning facilities will be increased. There is going to be a limited number of people in lifts. Video links will be displayed everywhere. Measures will be taken wherever possible to promote a ‘no-touch’ policy. Check-in will be very quick. Distances between the table will be increased. In-room dining protocols will be in place like digital menus. Gloves and masks will be the order of the day. Dedicated isolation rooms on each floor in case of an emergency. A seal will be there to ensure that the room is perfectly sanitized. Hotels are now tying up with travel companies where they will ensure that the guests are brought in the hotel in a safe way. Spas and pools will be temporarily closed. As far as the external vendors are considered, proper measures will be taken before allowing them inside. Hygiene managers will be appointed. The flexibility of buyouts in India will be there. It depends on supply and demand. Displacement revenue will be factored in while considering this point.
What Does The Future Of Destination Weddings Look Like
Picture Courtesy: @fb.celebrations
Bhavnesh Sawhney, Director, FB Celebrations, India summed up the episode by highlighting some key points regarding how the new normal is going to look like post-COVID.
* Destination Weddings will always be one of the most loved trends of Indian weddings, people will continue getting married at beautiful destinations within India and prefer destinations closer to home.
* People will have more intimate weddings, thereby opening up avenues for smaller and boutique luxury hotels.
* Emphasis will be on creating bespoke experiences for a smaller guest list, thereby creating the necessity for novel experiences at destination weddings.
* Being well informed about each country’s norms and guidelines will be more important than ever especially from a health and safety point of view.
* People will always fall in love and get married, so these changes may be temporary, we will all need to improvise as we go until things remain momentum.
Stay tuned for our next blog post on tips to promote your wedding business effectively by Meghan Ely from OFD Consulting, USA! Until then, take very good care of yourself.
Feature Image credit: @bernardwstudios