New Travel Opportunity: Indian Weddings on a Vietnamese Beach

Vietnam's Phu Quoc emerges as wedding venue for Indian youngters.

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Vietnam, India Promote Wedding Party Tourism
Vietnam’s Phu Quoc emerges as dream wedding venue for Indian couples. Source: Consulate General of India in Ho Chi Minh City

The Consulate General of India in Ho Chi Minh City and the People’s Committee of Kien Giang province on Dec.7 has organized a virtual meeting themed ‘Wedding tourism in India & Vietnam – Kerala and Phu Quoc Island’ with the presence of more than 80 participants, consisting of government officials, accommodation service providers, tour operators from southern provinces of Vietnam.

The event welcomed the participation of Pranay Verma, Ambassador of India to Vietnam and Nguyen Luu Trung, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of the southern province of Kien Giang to deliver an inaugural remark and a welcome remark. The virtual meeting consisted of eight keynote speeches by representatives of Kerala Tourism Board, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) and other speakers from the tour operation industry in India and Vietnam.

According to Jyoti Mayal, president of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), after the Covid-19 pandemic, many Indians, especially the younger generation, focus on organizing simple and environmentally friendly weddings instead of expensive ones like in the pre-pandemic era. Everything in the party from food to decorations, bridal dresses or even jewelry is taken from environmentally friendly materials such as forest wood, fresh flowers, plants. Vietnam has many beautiful beaches and strongly invested facilities in recent years. If promoted more widely, these places will be chosen by many young Indian couples as wedding venues.

“I have a lot of experience to organize weddings for couples in India, I believe that Phu Quoc is the destination that will be chosen by many couples,” said Jyoti Mayal.

Vietnam, India Promote Wedding Party Tourism
Romantic scene at the billionaire couple’s wedding of billionaire couple Rushang Shah and bride Kaabia Grewal held in Phu Quoc held in 2019. Source: sggp.org.vn

Ravi Gosain, vice president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), the “wedding tourism” industry of India reached 234 billion rupees (USD 3.1 billion) in 2017 and by 2020 this number will reach 458 billion rupees (USD 6 billion). Globally, revenue from the “wedding tourism” industry has also grown by 400% over the past 10 years. Couples are looking to new and cost-saving experiences for the honeymoon or maybe combine the honeymoon and the wedding party. Currently, wedding ceremonies on the beach, on hot air balloons, underwater, on airplanes, forest exploration, in the desert, on yachts or trains are attractive new kinds. Many couples are interested in those.

Gosain wishes to be able to sign cooperation agreements with Vietnamese travel companies to promote many tourism activities in the near future. When the pandemic situation is more stable, Vietnam’s travel agencies can go to India to learn about this newly developed type of tourism and India is ready to share all experiences.

Dr. Madan Mohan Sethi, consulate general of India in HCM City affirmed that the Indian Consulate is ready to support Vietnam’s companies wishing to come to India as well as companies from India wishing to learn about Vietnam to promote the tourism between the two countries.

For his part, Quang Xuan Lua, deputy director of Kien Giang Tourism Department shared that in 2019, Phu Quoc was chosen by an Indian billionaire couple as a wedding venue, which lasted for seven days. The magnificent wedding party gathered nearly 700 guests, over 130 artists including musicians, DJs, singers, dancers and opera singers from 10 countries and 50 chefs. That shows that Phu Quoc has experience and is confident enough to become a place for couples to choose to organize “wedding tourism”.

After a period of interruption due to Covid-19, Phu Quoc welcomed the first international delegation on Nov. 20. “We always create the most favorable conditions for Indian businesses wishing to understand the market, invest in investment cooperation, cooperate in tourism development in Phu Quoc in particular and Kien Giang in general,” Lua committed.

In this virtual meet, delegates were introduced the uniqueness of houseboat tourism in Kerala, as well as to present Phu Quoc Island as a new hotspot for wedding tourism. It aimed to serve as a reliable source of updates on travel restrictions amid the Covid-19 in India and Phu Quoc Island, for tour operators and travellers.

Vietnam, India Promote Wedding Party Tourism
A total of 700 guests, as well as dozens of tonnes of goods, costumes, jewellery and props have been transported from India directly to Phu Quoc Island for the wedding of bride Kaabia Grewal and groom Rushang Shah. Source: VOV

Phu Quoc welcoming international tourists back

Phu Quoc has been evaluated as the most attractive island in Vietnam and been an extremely prominent name on the international tourist map in recent years, said VNA.

Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is known as the pearl island on the southwest coast of Vietnam. It is a sunny paradise with green tropical trees.

If you love a deserted sea and want to immerse yourself in clear water and untouched nature, Phu Quoc is a great choice.

With a 150km-long coastline, Phu Quoc has many beautiful beaches from the north to the south. They are ideal beaches for swimming, yachting, fishing, squid fishing, scuba diving to see coral, and water sports.

Along with rich marine and island resources, Phu Quoc also has a diverse forest ecosystem, mainly in Phu Quoc National Park, which has a total area of over 31,422 hectares.

The marine ecosystem of Phu Quoc is also very diverse with coral reefs of different shapes and sizes. It has nearly 100 species of hard corals, nearly 20 species of soft corals and 62 species of seaweed.

The island also has Phu Quoc United Center complex, which includes five-star rooms and villas, the sports – entertainment – playground at Vinpearl Golf, VinWonders theme park, Vinpearl Safari semi-wildlife care and conservation park, Corona Casino and “the city that never sleeps” Grand World Phu Quoc in close proximity.

It is no surprise that the pearl island of Phu Quoc was chosen as one of the first destinations to reopen their doors to international visitors in an effort to recover the national tourism industry.

Fully vaccinated travellers from 72 countries with vaccination certificates recognised by Vietnam, who hold vaccination certificates or Covid-19 recovery certificates and having negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of departure, are now welcomed to Da Nang, Quang Nam and Phu Quoc. Children under 12 years of age are not required to have certificates of vaccination.

Hannah Nguyen