During a virtual address at the foundation laying ceremony of the Khodaldham Trust Cancer Hospital in Amreli, Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised concerns about the growing trend of couples opting for destination weddings abroad. He underscored the importance of promoting weddings within India to ensure that the economic benefits generated from such events remain within the country.
The Prime Minister’s idea that hosting weddings locally contributes to the domestic economy by supporting various sectors such as hospitality, catering, and event management. By encouraging people to choose India as their wedding destination, the aim is to retain the associated expenditures within the country.
In addition to addressing the issue of destination weddings, Prime Minister Modi also called upon the citizens to actively participate in promoting domestic tourism. This appeal emphasizes the significance of exploring and enjoying the diverse attractions within the country, contributing to the growth of the tourism sector.
During his address, he urged people to consider holding marriages at significant places within the country, particularly invoking the symbolism of having weddings at the feet of Ma Khodal, the revered goddess in the community.
In his call for “Wed In India,” a phrase reminiscent of the “Made in India” concept, the Prime Minister emphasized the idea of retaining cultural and traditional values by choosing to celebrate significant life events, such as weddings, on home soil. By encouraging this perspective, he aimed to foster a sense of pride in Indian heritage and traditions, while also reinforcing the financial benefits of keeping such celebrations within the country. The analogy to “Made in India” and to make India “atmanirbhar” suggests a similar sentiment of promoting indigenous practices.
INDIA’S WEDDING INDUSTRY
The wedding industry in India has become a significant economic powerhouse, reflecting the cultural and social importance placed on weddings in the country. The rise in income and spending power has led to a substantial increase in the scale and extravagance of weddings, making the industry one of the top five in India.
According to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), during the 2023 wedding season, it is estimated that there will be around 38 lakh weddings in India. The total business generated by the wedding industry, including both goods and services, is expected to be approximately Rs 4.74 lakh crore.
This staggering figure underscores the enormous financial scale of the wedding business in India. To put it into perspective, the Rs 4.74 lakh crore spent during a single wedding season is more than the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of many countries. This data in itself conveys the impact it has on India’s economic landscape.
WHY DESTINATION WEDDINGS?
The popularity of destination weddings in India is attributed, in part, to the high value placed on wedding venues within the country. Wedding venues, especially banquet halls and hotels, have become prized locations for couples looking to host extravagant celebrations. The allure of showcasing one’s wedding at the best possible venue often leads to couples seeking out prestigious banquet halls and hotels for their special day.
However, the demand for such top-tier venues comes with a hefty price tag, particularly on auspicious days. Wedding venues charge substantial amounts for hosting events on these auspicious dates, contributing to the rising costs of weddings. This financial aspect has driven some couples to explore alternative options, such as destination weddings.
Destination weddings, often held in exotic locations like Thailand or other foreign locales, provide an opportunity for couples to have a unique and memorable wedding experience. The appeal of spending a similar amount or even less on a destination wedding compared to a high-end venue in India adds to the attraction. Additionally, having a destination wedding allows couples to boast about the international flair of their wedding, providing a special tag of getting married in a foreign locale. This desire for bragging rights and a distinctive wedding experience contributes to the growing trend of destination weddings among those willing to spend significantly on their big day.
TOURISM MINISTRY’S CAMPAIGN
The Ministry of Tourism launched an ambitious campaign to position India as a premier wedding destination last year. This initiative not only seeks to promote India as an attractive choice for weddings but also aims to unlock the vast potential of the country’s significant wedding industry.
The campaign aligns with the broader vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has emphasized the ‘Wed In India’ concept and the importance of developing tourism in a mission mode. The efforts to promote India as a global wedding destination suggest a strategic approach to leverage the cultural richness, diverse landscapes, and hospitality offerings in the country
The Ministry of Tourism aims to explore untapped potential and elevate tourism in India to new heights. The ministry envisions a comprehensive strategy, described as a “360-degree approach,” that aims to ensure every aspect of the wedding experience, from the initial greeting to the final vows, reflects India’s warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage.
The campaign commences with a focus on profiling approximately 25 key destinations across the country. By showcasing how India aligns with diverse wedding aspirations, the campaign highlights the country’s appeal in various dimensions. It emphasizes India’s breathtaking landscapes, sacred traditions, tantalizing culinary offerings, and cutting-edge infrastructure The narrative of the campaign celebrates the fusion of India’s ancient heritage with modern elegance. By weaving this narrative, the campaign aims to entice the world to embark on an unforgettable journey of love and celebration in India.