Speaking at a webinar organised on the theme ‘Positioning Rajasthan as Wedding Capital of India’, Dhiraj Srivastava, Commissioner, Rajasthation Foundation has said that the recent Tourism Policy of the state has laid emphasis on opening up the lesser known destinations of Rajasthan and grading and listing it for opportunities like Wedding Tourism. Srivastava said that the state can look at simplifying the guidelines for using different spots like forts, palaces, public gardens, for wedding events, if required.
Expert speakers at the webinar expressed the opinion that Rajasthan has the potential to emerge as an alternative to overseas destinations which the wedding planners have been keen to take wedding groups to in the pre-pandemic period. “Rajasthan is quite competitively placed in all respects,” said Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI in his introductory remarks.
Sandeep Lodha, CEO, Weddingz.in by OYO, said that they have received about 6,000 queries for Rajasthan in January alone. He said that after the pandemic, people are looking for more intimate events and avoiding long haul travel for weddings. Both these trends are favourable for destinations like Rajasthan, he said. His company has organised over 450 weddings in Rajasthan last year, he said. In order to tap the potential that exists, Lodha asked the state to do dedicated marketing for wedding tourism. He proposed certifying the vendors and listing them so that credibility of the vendors can be assured.
Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar, Executive Director of HRH Group, said that the weddings are no more a family affair, but a city affair which adds to the local economy in a big way. Weddings, he said, help branding destinations. Udaipur has become a major destination wedding place and today counted along Lake Como of Italy. Rajasthan has huge untapped potential to come up as a wedding destination for its lakes, forts, palaces, deserts, he said, urging the stakeholders of the segment to get-together and promote it.
Chetan Vohra, Founder, Weddingline has also underscored the potential Rajasthan has and suggested right profiling of the State. He said that there is a need for the State to create a talent hub beyond hotels to make it easy for wedding planners to get the right people to execute events.
Surendra Singh Sahpura, Chairman, Shahpura Hotels said that Rajasthan is surviving only on the back of wedding tourism since the pandemic has started. He said that the state has never targeted the wedding segment so far as the state had enough and more leisure tourists to thrive. The pandemic has become an eye-opener for Rajasthan Tourism, he said.