Wedding Planners Welcome Thailand
For the first time ever, representatives from Thailand attended the Destination Wedding Planners Congress 2014 in Athens, Greece last month as part of a strategy to attract more European couples thinking of hosting their wedding ceremonies abroad, reported the Bangkok Post.
According to the report, the wedding tourism markets in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and America are central to the Thailand’s current promotion strategy, and for good reason. In 2013, wedding and honeymoon tourists comprised 7% of international tourist arrivals to the Kingdom and generated a revenue of THB34.6 billion (US$1.064 billion). Approximately 29% of wedding tourists travelled from East Asia (South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan), 28% from Europe (the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia), while 15%t came from ASEAN countries, mainly Singapore and Malaysia, 12% from South Asia and 5% from the Americas.
Research published by the Tourism Authority of Thailand shows that honeymooners actually accounted for 70% of wedding-related tourists, while 13.5 % were celebrating special anniversaries in the Kingdom. This left some 10% who actually hosted their wedding celebrations in the country , as we’ll as those that arrived to explore venue options.
“The congress helps us study the marketing possibilities with worldwide wedding planners,” a TAT representative in Greece told the press. “Thailand is a classic wedding destination with outstanding service, value for money and a variety of wedding styles including formal and themed weddings such as underwater or traditional Thai weddings,” she added.
The TAT aims to expand the Kingdom’s wedding market value by at least 10 percent by 2015, with Indian couples still the chief target due to the large weddings they host of up to 200 guests.New marketing campaigns will also target European couples who have high spending power.
Further boosting Thailand’s appeal as a wedding destination are the plethora of lavish private holiday properties now available for rent in locations like Phuket and Koh Samui, all of which guarantee guests absolute privacy and personalisation on their big day.
Villas also offer couples a great deal more flexibility than many hotels are able to. For example, couples are not tied to third party schedules, menus or decoration choices. Instead, they are free to personalise each and every detail of their villa wedding ceremony, including their own décor theme, whether using traditional Thai flowers or something in a more Western style.
The expertise of Thailand’s increasingly experienced professional wedding planners is also available to couples from around the world who want the ceremony to live up to their wildest fantasies and many of them were also present at the Athens conference to share experiences and pick up new ideas.
by MAX VEE