Destination wedding business on a path to renewal in Kumarakom
After a long interval, the picturesque properties by Lake Kumarakom once again began to add a new layer of experience to the bridal preparations of the young couples.
Even though tourism is striving to bounce back in the village destination, industry players here are now looking to destination weddings to boost the prospects for the hospitality industry in Kumarakom. It is estimated that the village has hosted at least seven destination weddings since the hotels and resorts in the village reopened from mid-September.
“We also have a handful of inquiries, although that has yet to translate into an accommodation request, as room bookings related to these wedding functions remain considerably low. But given the current trend, the sector should gain momentum by the second quarter of next year, ”said K. Arun Kumar, secretary of the Chamber of Hotels and Resorts of Vembanad (CVHR).
With COVID-19 guidelines stipulating a steep reduction in costs, including the number of guests, wedding packages are now offered at a much lower price. “The post-COVID regulations, which see weddings as a very intimate affair, appear to have attracted the interest of premium clients within the state,” he added.
With an open-air setting and peaceful Vembanad Lake as a backdrop, Kumarakam hosted around 75 destination weddings last year and the area, according to hoteliers, was growing steadily at 25-30% per year on average. These weddings, planned at least six months in advance and involving at least a few days of accommodation, meal plans and other programs, generated an average billing of 20 lakh per event.
The company, however, has seen massive cancellations from the second half of March following the COVID-19-induced lockdown. According to the owners of the resort, the majority of these bookings are from Europe, while a few bookings are also from the northern states of India.
Meanwhile, the resumption of destination weddings is expected to boost the local economy. “A majority of these events are organized on the basis of certain themes, which involves the staging of cultural events, the sourcing of local cuisine or crafts or even offering the experience of life. village to guests. In this way, it constitutes a constant source of income for the local population. Explained K. Rupesh Kumar, State Coordinator, Responsible Tourism Mission Kerala.