Pandemic and flight ban elevate Goa to top destination wedding charts | Goa News

PANAJI: Even as Goa’s tourism industry struggled to survive during the first two waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, another sector closely associated with tourism flourished during the same period. The pandemic – coupled with the resulting ban on international travel and the inaccessibility of foreign lands – has significantly boosted Goa’s reputation as a wedding destination.
The state sees about 200 to 250 large weddings a year, and industry stakeholders expect the next fiscal year to be very eventful with a further increase in business. “Even after other overseas locations open, I don’t think there will be a loss of business anytime soon. We’ve seen a 30% increase in business during the pandemic, although that’s not was not easy to manage the show with limited staff,” said Francis Serrao of Crosscraft, one of the biggest players in the field.
Many of those who went to their home countries during the lockdown did not return, he said, adding that it was extremely difficult to work within the confines. The only difference between the weddings that took place between the first wave and the second wave and later was the decline in the scale of the celebrations. “In the pre-pandemic era, a customer would book 150 to 200 rooms. The number has been reduced to around 100 rooms for a wedding, with older people skipping for most celebrations,” he said.
Goa has proven to be the preferred location for ultra-wealthy Indians for their destination wedding, as it is well-connected to source markets, as well as larger-scale room availability in star-rated categories. Rajendra Menon, General Manager, Zuri White Sands Goa Resort and Casino, said: “There is no doubt that Goa is the best wedding destination from the country. With connectivity to source markets, it is the preferred destination after the pandemic-imposed restrictions on international travel,” he said.
He said Goa is even ahead of Kerala due to the number of star hotels the state has. “I expect the new exercise to be excellent. We have about 30 weddings booked for the next season,” he said.
The Russian-Ukrainian war could induce inflation and air fares could rise, however, Menon said the destination wedding segment, a niche market, would not be affected.
The majority of themed and destination weddings take place in South Goa, as the district has a larger inventory of rooms in the star and deluxe categories. Alcon Victor Group Director Varun Albuquerque said star hotels have done extremely well, with Goa becoming the preferred location for Indian niche customers who would otherwise choose Europe or Southeast Asia. Is.
Planning for destination weddings typically starts a year or two ahead, including hotel reservations, Albuquerque said, but over the past year and a half they’ve seen people can book a month or two ahead of time. wedding and have their destination wedding.
However, even though Goa has flourished as a wedding destination, it feels the pinch of a lack of proper infrastructure. “We only have four large ballrooms. We do not have luxury cars which can be hired locally at the request of a client. We bring in premium cars from out of state to meet customer requirements,” Serrao said.
Also, for event planners, the biggest headache is getting permissions every time a wedding is held. The long-promised one-stop system is still a distant dream.

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