Members of the hospitality industry say Bangkok and its nearby beach resorts and islands have been emerging as the best, and somehow hidden, destination for big, fat weddings. Over 200 Indian marriages are expected to be solemnized this year alone, they said.
With weddings being two to three times cheaper here than in India, the fear of questioning by tax officials in India about the source of funds after an ostentatious wedding is mainly drawing an increasing number of couples to this southeast Asian nation.
More and more Indian couples are now choosing Phuket, the island resort in Thailand’s southern part, and Pattaya as a perfect wedding destination, said Association of Thai Travel Agents president Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn.
Sisdivachr, who is also the Thai-Chinese Tourism Alliance Association’s honorary president, said hosting of Indian ceremonies has helped in blooming the country’s tourism industry whose six per cent of GDP is contributed by the tourists.
Indian ambassador to Thailand Anil Wadhwa said besides shooting of films, a new phenomenon has been that Indians have chosen Thailand as a favourite wedding destination.
India is today the biggest source market for visitors from South Asia and one of fastest growing markets for Thailand. More than one million Indians visited Thailand in 2012, making it one of six countries to cross that landmark annual arrivals number.
Indian tourists have an average daily expenditure of 160 USD per person per day over an average length of stay of 7.19 days.
There has been rapid growth in aviation access. As of January 2013, there are 152 direct weekly services between Bangkok and major Indian cities including Delhi (45), Kolkata (35), Mumbai (45), Bangalore (7), Hyderabad (4), Madras/Chennai (14) and Bagdogra (2) by Thai Airways International, Philippine Airlines, Indigo, Jet Airways, Air India, Thai Air Asia, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Royal Bhutan Airlines and Air Austral.