The research by Colliers International, ATM’s official research partner, revealed that the destination wedding segment is worth more than USD90 billion globally, with 25 percent of marriages now taking place abroad – equating to approximately 340,000 destination weddings every year.
Looking at the Middle East specifically, the regional market is worth over USD4.5 billion, attracting five percent of the global destination weddings market.
The UAE is the most favoured location as a result of the emirate’s relaxed visa regulations, easy connectivity, year-round sunshine, its variety of pristine beaches and scenic mountain ranges.
Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, ATM, said, “Destination wedding tourism is just one of four key trends identified in the Colliers report that will define the Middle East, and indeed, the global travel and tourism market as well as consumer behavior, as we look ahead to 2020 and beyond.
She added, “Overseas weddings are now playing a key role in the overall growth of the global hospitality industry, as more couples seek a unique as well as a personalised experience abroad. And in addition, these weddings are also positively impacting the local economies.”
Ecotourism, Wellness, Adventure and Agritourism (EWAA) is another notable emerging trend, particularly among environmentally conscious consumers. According to the Colliers data, 70 percent of global travellers are now more likely to book accommodation that is eco-friendly, with 52 percent prepared to alter their behavior on holiday to become more sustainable.