Enquiries and bookings rising in luxury properties
Ultra luxury hotels in India’s main wedding destinations, including Jaipur, Jodhpur and Mussoorie, are seeing tremendous demand for hosting “diverted destination” weddings — many postponed from last year — of the uber rich which cannot be held abroad due to current travel restrictions.
Due to the pandemic, 60% weddings had been pushed back to 2021-2022, which were supposed to happen last year.
Due to high taxes in India, in pre-pandemic times high net worth individuals (HNIs) had destination weddings abroad in Phuket, Bangkok, Turkey, Middle East at almost the same price or even lower than India. Now this entire wedding market, which includes those who postponed plans for last year, is leading to sold out bookings for important and auspicious dates this year in April, May, June, November and December.
The biggest hospitality players including Taj, Oberoi, ITC, Leela, Marriott and Accor have a major presence in these destinations, with many having prime properties in these destinations. Wedding queries going forward for the next set of auspicious dates and season remains healthy and weddings that would have typically gone to destinations overseas are all converting to domestic weddings in the destinations mentioned above.
While most hotels have already matched their 2019 pricing for January-March (2021) weddings, April-September 2021 are already selling 10-15% higher compared to same time 2019. October-December 2021 is at least 20% higher than Jan-March 2021 as currently it is estimated that there could potentially be no limitations on guests at that time.