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Robust infrastructure development & improved accessibility to provide impetus to ‘Wed in India’:Manisha Saxena, DG, Ministry of Tourism

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Jaipur, 5th May, 2024.

Along with cultural aspects of India,the rapid infrastructure development happening across the country, especially improvement in accessibility thanks to number of airports getting doubled in last few years and improvement in digital and physical connectivity are aiding destination weddings across the world, said Ms. Manisha Saxena, IAS, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

She was speaking during the inaugural of 1st ‘Wed in India’ expo at Rambagh Palace. The expo is being organised from 5th May to 7th May, 2024 at Jaipur Exhibition & Convention Centre (JECC) in Jaipur.

An initiative of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the ‘Wed in India’ expo is being organised jointly with Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) alongside the Great India Travel. It is also supported by Hotel and Restaurant Association of Rajasthan (HRAR), Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) and Rajasthan Association of Tour Operators (RATO).

“With its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural traditions which can actually invoke magic in weddings,Rajasthan along with Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Haryana, Kerala, and Goa are favourite destination for Wed-in-India. The Northeast is also fast emerging as a preferred destination especially the tea gardens of Assam, Darjeeling, Siliguri, Mizoram, and Manipur,” Ms. Manisha Saxena added.

Citing the experience of one of the G20 Tourism Group meetings held in Goa during India’s G20 Presidency, Ms. Saxena said, “We catered to all the ministerial delegates in a 500-years old house which keeps its 200 years old cutlery. India has several such kinds of assets. We, in the Ministry of Tourism, are in process of documenting this repository of assets both tangible and intangible.”

Delivering her address during inaugural session, Ms. Gayatri Rathore, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan said, “Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthanis delighted to hold first ever ‘Wed in India’ expo. Rajasthan has long been a preferred destination for celebrity weddings due to its luxurious and opulent settings. The state’s magnificent palaces forts and havelis converted into luxury heritage hotels provide a regal backdrop for extravagant celebrations. Rajasthan’s world-class hospitality, traditional cuisines and vibrant entertainment create unforgettable experiences for the couples and their guests. ”

Setting the tone of the expo, Mr. Chetan Vohra, Chair, FICCI Wedding Tourism Taskforce & Managing Director, Wedding Line said, “Hospitality runs in the veins of every Indian and we were raised with one belief, to open our hearts and our homes to every guest as if they were God – something we call “Atithi Deva Bhavo”.The Wed in India summit is a testament to our commitment in making this dream a reality.”

Mr. Dipak Deva, Chairperson, FICCI Tourism & Culture Committee & Managing Director, Travel Corporation of India said, “This initiative shall act as an inclusive platform for the diverse stakeholders of the wedding tourism industry, including wedding planners, hoteliers, destination management companies, state governments and policymakers.”

Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI & CMD, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group said, “This expo is going to be a long way towards making it international. Besides Rajasthan, India has a lot of enticing wedding destinations which are equally beautiful and appealing.”

Mr. SabbasJoesph, Past President, Event & Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) spoke at length about India’s charm, opportunities and challenges to make India world’s wedding destination.

Proposing the Vote of Thanks,Mr. S.K. Pathak, Secretary General, FICCI said, “Indians, both in the country and the diaspora globally, are getting more prosperous. Better to spend more in our own country to benefit our own people and economy. That’s why ‘Wed in India’ is a great initiative.”

During the inaugural session, a ‘Wed in India’ film titled ‘Say I do In India’ was premiered showcasing India’s enchanting destinations and architectural marvels for weddings which attracted huge applause by the audience.

With leading cities of Rajasthan, such as Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur already popular for wedding amongst Indians and foreigners, an audio-visual presentation titled ‘Romance in Rajasthan’ was played showcasing the potential of rural Rajasthan for wedding as well as honeymoon.

A number of panel discussions, including ‘India Awaits you: ‘Evaluating the readiness of India’s wedding ecosystem to face international competition’, ‘Local But Global: India in the NEWS’, ‘Session with International Wedding Planners’ and ‘Getting Inspired: Analyzing success stories and challenges’ are scheduled to take place during the day, wherein the experts will discuss India’s preparedness and opportunities for making India a wedding destination.

Policymakers, key players from the tourism and hospitality industry and tour operators from over 50 countries are participating in the ‘Wed in India’ expo.

It will have sessions on the readiness of India’s wedding ecosystem, dynamics of wedding tourism and its impact on India’s larger tourism industry as well as comparative study of national and international tourism destinations, a thought-leadership address, a roundtable with national and international wedding tourism stakeholders, networking dinner, and cultural evening.

Representatives of Tourism Boards from various states, including Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, too are participating alongside stalwarts from India’s tourism, travel, and hospitality sectors.

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