Survey reveals global destination wedding industry’s top and emerging locations

Published on : Tuesday, May 10, 2016

destination-wedding-locations-hescgklzAt the recently concluded Annual Destination Wedding Planners (DWP) Congress in Florence, Italy, results of a survey conducted by Dubai based event organiser QnA International gave insight into the global destination wedding industry in 2015.


The global destination wedding industry is estimated at USD 80 billion, representing 27% of the global wedding industry which is valued at USD 298 billion. The biggest market contributing to the destination wedding industry is North America (NA), which contributes a whopping 30% or USD 24 billion to the market. The next big contributor is Asia, contributing 22% or USD 17.6 billion, followed by Europe’s 20% or 16.0 billion and South America’s 12% or USD 9.6 billion. Australia contributes 6% or USD 4.8 billion, and the Middle East (ME) and Africa contribute 5% or USD 4 billion each respectively.


The survey which was administered to wedding planners in each of these geographic locations revealed more specific and interesting details. For example, there were wide differences in the number of invitees between Asia, Africa and the Middle East which typically have average guest lists ranging from 400-1,000 individuals, and Australia and Europe, of which the wedding guest lists extended to no more than 120 – 200 individuals.


Top geographic choices for destination weddings were again different across the surveyed geographic locations. Top and emerging destinations from each surveyed location revealed an interesting mix.


Geographic Location of Couples Top Destinations Emerging Destinations
North America New York, California, Mexico, Caribbean Islands, Italy, Spain, and Greece Peru, UK, Ireland, Amsterdam, Bali, UAE, India, Las Vegas andMarrakech
South America Mexico, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Hawaii, and St Lucia Italy, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Portugal, France, and Spain
Europe Italy, France, England, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Thailand, and Croatia Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Caribbean Islands, UAE, and Las Vegas
Africa Dubai, UK, South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tanzania India, Italy, Spain, Thailand, and Australia
Middle East UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Lebanon, UK France, Saudi Arabia, Marrakesh, and Turkey Greece, Prague, Thailand, Spain, Italy, and South Africa
Asia Thailand, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Singapore, India, and Hong Kong Vietnam, Italy, Turkey, UK, Bali, Macau, and Korea
Australia and New Zealand Singapore, Thailand, Bali, Fiji, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Australia Italy, Greece, Hawaii, France, Los Angeles, and Vietnam

A common trend across the locations surveyed was the appearance of European countries and cities as either top or emerging destinations, of these Italy, Greece, Spain and France were regular mentions across all locations surveyed.

Interestingly, Mexico tops the list of preferred destinations amongst couples from both North and South America.

In Asia, Thailand tops the list as the destination of choice for weddings, drawing clients fromIndia, Hong Kong,and Australia amongst others.

When it comes to the Middle East, UAE and Turkey were recognised as leading destinations for couples from Middle East and Africa.

When it came to African couples UAE, UK, Mauritius and South Africa were the leading destinations of choice.

Speaking on the survey results at the DWP Congress, Ackash Jain, Director of QnA International, organisers of the Destination Wedding Planners Congress said, “This is the first time a global survey on the destination wedding industry has been conducted. The results are fascinating and just a testimony of the growing interest in the destination wedding market. Having worked with the who’s who of the destination wedding industry from planners to tourism boards, venues and creative partners at our DWP Congress, we believe that Wedding Tourism is too big to ignore.”

The DWP Congress is the only event of its kind in the world with a B2B focus where the attendees represent the best of the best of their country on a global scale and proudly wave their flag at this fantastic amalgamation for connoisseurs of the destination wedding planning industry.


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