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Wedding Season – A ray of hope for the Hospitality Industry

Hospitality Industry has suffered a lot at the time of Pandemic. Wedding season plays very important role in increasing the revenue of the Hotel Business. Therefore, its a Ray of Hope for the Industry. Let's

Hospitality Industry has suffered a lot at the time of Pandemic. Wedding season plays very important role in increasing the revenue of the Hotel Business. Therefore, its a Ray of Hope for the Industry. Let’s take a look on the views of our Industry Experts.

Pradeep Shetty

Sr. Vice President

Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI)

Weddings are an intrinsic part of the Indian culture and are an emotional event for families of the bride and groom. Weddings as events have traditionally been celebrated across the country. But over the last decade and a half, this event has evolved to become an independent industry of its own merit. Wedding organizers help put all the pieces of the event together so that the families can relax and focus on the wedding. With roughly one crore weddings per year, for the hospitality industry, this has opened up a USD 50 Billion avenue which of course, is a massive market.

Over the last two years, the hospitality industry received a major setback on account of the pandemic. Hospitality establishments are now looking to capitalize on all possible avenues to make up for the lost opportunities and expedite the recovery time. The wedding season indeed is a big ray of hope for the industry. Hotels with wedding halls or open spaces, depending on the size, can host multiple weddings on a single day. Weddings are generally preceded and followed by customary ceremonies which too, many a times are hosted at the same location. Elaborate ceremonies can last anywhere between three days and a week. Such wedding events translate to confirmed F&B and room revenues and demand for jobs. Between April and June, this year hotels with wedding avenues are expected to generate as much as 40 per cent of their total revenue from hosting weddings.

Shibil Malik

General Manager

Sheraton Grand Bengaluru at Brigade Gateway 

“With over 50 auspicious dates in 2022, the industry is gearing up for an extremely busy wedding season with enquiries and bookings coming in not only from Bengaluru but from all parts of the country. Around sixty percent of auspicious days fall in May and June and these months usually witness the maximum number of weddings. The pandemic has changed the way guests look at weddings, not only in terms of quality but also in terms of exclusivity. For example, some guests request to bring in specialty chefs to add uniqueness to the wedding celebrations. Guests today look for venues that would give them the ambience and experience similar to that of a destination wedding, without actually having to leave the country. The focus of every venue today should be not only to match up to guest expectations but to go above and beyond. From a business perspective, unlike MICE events, which often include only banquets, weddings almost always require a mix of banquets and rooms.”

Ajay Sampige

Area General Manager

Hotel Royal Orchid Bangalore

The massive Indian weddings have always been an important business segment for Hoteliers. And amidst the pandemic, they acted as the oxygen for the industry. Even though the weddings have been trimmed down in size, they managed to keep the industry afloat.

With eased regulations, strong pent-up demand and bulk of auspicious dates this year, hotels are witnessing substantial growth in wedding bookings. It is also being observed that there is a positive sentiment and hotels are receiving more queries for large weddings, some to the tune of 1000-1200 guests.

With luxury and elegance as the main elements, destination weddings are winning the hearts of the people, amplifying the charisma of the event. Since this hotel has always been a popular choice for weddings, our team made sure to cater to the changing demands of the guests and offer them all the necessary services. We even adapted to HYBRID weddings wherein family and friends could not only see the ceremony on screen from the comfort of their homes but also enjoy the same food prepared for the event.

Rajiv Kapoor

General Manager

Fairmont Jaipur

The wedding season comes as a breath of fresh air to us. Weddings provide us with an opportunity to showcase all elements of Fairmont Jaipur to our guests. Wedding guests enjoy every part of our palatial hotel from the magnanimous marquees, to the architecture that is adorned with intricate masterpieces created by local artisans and craftsmen, as well as dining experiences at our distinct restaurants, Zoya and Zarin, and whiskey and cigar lounges Aza and Cigar Diwan. The bespoke Fairmont Jaipur experience is unfolded to our wedding guests beautifully for the entire length of their stay. Having launched a new ballroom recently, we have added to the list of the varied options that couples need to make the most of their big day. From a business perspective, we are expecting a rise in destination weddings in 2022, especially in NRI weddings, after a major upheaval of two years due to the pandemic and we are all set to welcome the change.

Ranju Singh

Complex General Manager

Novotel Goa Candolim and Novotel Goa Resort and Spa’s

The wedding industry in India is one of the largest globally in terms of average spend. Celebrating occasions in an opulent way has been an integral part of the Indian culture and with wedding season around the corner & ease of travel restrictions, hotels are witnessing a renewed interest from this segment. 

Over the years, there has undoubtedly been a change in the way people celebrate their big day. We have seen everything from intimate ceremonies to pre-wedding photoshoots, extravagant fairy-tale-like set-ups, destination weddings & other smaller ceremonies being given as much importance as the ‘The Day’.

People are looking at hotels & resorts as an ideal destination to host all ceremonies at different venues and that’s where properties like Novotel Goa Candolim and Novotel Goa Resort & Spa have a huge advantage – In terms of our location, luxury offerings and ability to customize. From mandap in the pool set-up to open lawns and a grand ballroom, we can cater to weddings of all scales. 

With these offerings, we’re witnessing an accelerated demand for wedding events at both the properties & banquet bookings have skyrocketed over the last few months. 

Himanshu Kumar

Hotel Manager

 The Claridges, New Delhi

Hoteliers look forward to the auspicious wedding dates as per the Hindu calendar is something that everyone is well aware of. India is not a destination for large scale global conferences or symposiums as hotels typically create spaces which can be used for conferences and weddings alike. Starting from March 2020 – February 2022, the Indian wedding market saw massive cancellations or a scaled down version. Simultaneously, given the pandemic, corporate events came to a standstill. A simple study will show that Hotels had banquet space occupancy of less than 15% in the last 2 years. This is not only because of the pandemic fear of the people but also because of the carte blanche restrictions brought in by government agencies. In my understanding, accredited hotels in India have their event spaces registered by the accreditation agency HRACC. Instead of putting a regressive policy of restricting events for 100 guests, the number of attendees should have been decided by the square footage of the space. There are hotels which have large lawn spaces which can accommodate a thousand people at a time but they could only utilize 10% of their capacity given the restrictions. At the same time, the maintenance cost remained the same as nobody would like to hire a space where the whole place is not manicured. We also have to remember that event spaces supply is rather inelastic vis-à-vis their demand. Given this dynamics, the average revenue per person plummeted. Only since February 2022, things have started to move towards being normal.

In terms of new trends, in the last couple of years, a new concept of “hotel buyout” has come up in hotels with inventory size of less than 150 rooms. This has given the guests the benefit of booking the whole hotel out and basically every section of the hotel is for the event guests. We have witnessed a lot of interest in this offer with guests and even had a couple of such buyouts on books which eventually ended up getting cancelled in January. Also, hotel buyout or section buyout has given the confidence to the guests with respect to COVID protocol maintenance.

I am very hopeful that the government will listen to hoteliers with respect to any future restrictions needed and will keep in mind the area size whilst putting restrictions on events.

Ganapati Patil

Associate Director Of Sales

Novotel Pune 

Hospitality and tourism have been among the worst hit sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought leisure and non-urgent travel to a grinding halt.

However, with the lockdown lifting in the country, weddings have come as a ray of hope for hotels. Hotels are seeing an increase in enquiries and bookings for weddings, even though they’re being done at a smaller scale due to government regulations. We foresee in upcoming months the demand will slowly return back with good number of enquiries.  

 Simmi Sood

PR and Marcom Manager

Radisson Blu Plaza, Delhi Airport

Weddings, leisure, and trivial travel had suddenly come to a standstill due to the covid-19 restrictions and it has brought the industry to a grinding halt. Post lockdown, when things are turning around a new normal, the gradual opening of the hotels and the upcoming wedding season has brought a ray of hope for the hospitality industry in India. 
With the decline in Covid-19 cases and the mollifying curbs on social gatherings, the big fat wedding bookings have started coming back to hotels once again. The Hospitality industry is once again seeing an increase in inquiries and bookings for weddings. Hotels have put several safety programs in place to attract wedding bookings by promising high standards and safety protocols along with flexible pricing, with some discounts. 
Weddings are the main source of business for hotels at the moment and are no less than a  silver lining for the hospitality industry. In the upcoming wedding season with the bulk of auspicious dates gathered in the April-June quarter of FY23, the hospitality industry is witnessing significant growth in banquet bookings for weddings. The Indian wedding season is accelerating again. The wedding segment is expanding well with the easing of restrictions on social gatherings.
While there has been revenge travel and shopping after getting relaxation from the covid-19 restrictions, similarly there is a rising trend of revenge weddings after facing huge delays due to Covid waves. Bookings are done well in advance and the rates are back to the pre-covid levels.

The venue pre-booking gap has caught sight as it has been reduced due to the covid wave fears, big figures and substantial budgets are coming back to empower the hospitality industry. Destination weddings are once again in trend and are backed by the increased spending budget of the customers. Hoteliers are optimistic about the domestic market and are expecting it to gradually pave the way for business. Hopefully. The hospitality sector will flourish this wedding season.


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