Destination wedding tourism is worth more than US$90 billion globally, with 25% 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 US$4.5 billion, attracting 5% 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, according to research by Colliers International, Arabian Travel Market’s official research partner.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, 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.
“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,” she added.
ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 people to its 2019 event with representation from 150 countries. With over 100 exhibitors making their debut, ATM 2019 showcased the largest ever exhibition from Asia. Looking ahead, ATM will adopt Events for Tourism Growth as the official show theme for the 2020 edition of the show.