Positioning India on global destination wedding map

‘National wedding policy needed to regulate wedding planners’

Tourism

WEDDING

July 20, 2022

/ By / New Delhi

Positioning India on global destination wedding map

It was a 3-day B2B event hosted by the India Advantage Foundation and run by Iconex Exhibitions

A 3-day business to business event was organised by the India Advantage Foundation in New Delhi recently to put the spotlight on India as a location for destination weddings, a lucrative business. The organisers say that the Global Destinations Expo & Conference (GDEC) was the first serious attempt to position India as the ideal location for organising weddings, not just for the Indians looking at destination weddings, but also for people from across the world.

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Over 370 registered wedding planners from all over India and many other parts of the world gathered in New Delhi from July 14 to 16 to participate in the Global Destinations Expo & Conference (GDEC) – Weddings & Films. It was a 3-day B2B event hosted by the India Advantage Foundation and run by Iconex Exhibitions with the aim to bring together wedding planners, hotels, filmmakers, photographers, and tourism boards to exchange ideas, share knowledge, and demonstrate their industry skills in order to promote India as a location for hosting destination weddings and photo shoots.

The organisers say that as a unique meeting amongst all industry events, GDEC provided a venue for tourism boards, hospitality companies and important wedding planners to network and explore business opportunities. Over the course of the three days, a number of panel discussions and educational workshops with industry experts were held on subjects like the significance of Indian and international wedding industry collaboration, the integration of technology into the wedding industry, upcoming trends in décor and wedding planning, changing trends in Indian weddings, wedding business – challenges and new opportunities and technology in film making.

“Our vision with GDEC is to bring under one platform the wedding and film production stakeholders with service providers from travel and hospitality sector to explore business opportunities,” Amaresh Tiwari, chairman, India Advantage Foundation (IAF) tells Media India Group.

“We believe these niche tourism segments also need to be brought under the gamut of MICE in order to enjoy benefits of the industry status. Our vision is to also position India as an attractive destination for weddings. With over 32 million NRIs residing across the world, we have a large opportunity to explore in this segment,” adds Tiwari.

A number of one-on-one buyer meetings were held on Day 2 and 3 of the event, besides workshops and trainings delivered by seasoned experts from the domestic as well as international wedding sector. The power of business networking, challenges and new opportunities in the wedding business post pandemic and the changing game of Indian gourmet business were the topics covered in panel discussions. The international wedding market and how to attract foreigners to consider organising their wedding in India were also discussed at the event. In order to plan new prospects in the area of global destinations and to effectively compete with other major wedding planning sectors, the experts also talked about impending trends and difficulties.

“We have explained to the government in hope to push them to bring a national wedding policy, as wedding is considered as an individual decision, but for destination wedding you need to have certain rules,” says Tiwari.

Planning a wedding needs a lot of coordination and knowledge of the entire spectrum – from event location, to various vendors as well as understanding the rules governing these activities. Hence, a wedding planner needs to have a lot of knowledge and high degree of awareness of these, says Tiwari.

He adds that wedding planners need to be regulated, like any other travel agent, especially those organising MICE, who have certain certifications and licenses to ensure that only properly qualified people serve the clients to ensure high level of quality service.

“By ensuring that only well-trained and well-qualified planners are in the business, it can help us bring foreigners choose destinations within India for their wedding,’’ Tiwari adds.

The partner-organiser of GDEC, Iconex Exhibitions, says that the first edition was a stepping stone for more such unique events in the tourism and hospitality sector.

“Iconex is looking forward to entering the hospitality and tourism industries,” says Rajeev Bansal of Iconex. “Next year we will be back with a bigger version of GDEC and I am pleased to announce the dates for the second edition that will be held from July 13 – 15, 2023. The inaugural event saw participation from over 50 exhibitors and over 200 hosted buyers from India and overseas,” concludes Abhimanyu Singh, also of Iconex Exhibition.

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