Wedding planners from India come to Okinawa looking to offer Indian-style resort wedding celebrations

Wedding planners from India come to Okinawa looking to offer Indian-style resort wedding celebrations

Visiting wedding planners from India listening intently to the tour guide from the IHG/ANA Hotel Group Japan. March 4, ANA Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort in Onna

March 5, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

Wedding planners from four bridal companies in India, where the demand for foreign resort weddings has been increasing, visited Okinawa to explore the possibilities of hosting events in Okinawa.

Resort weddings have become popular with the wealthy class of Indians, with a couple spending around 50 million yen on average.

One planner who visited said optimistically, “I can already imagine the wedding.

I want to have it in Okinawa.” Okinawa sees India as a “potential market,” and hopes that by attracting visitors to the island for weddings they can introduce the country to its hotels and sightseeing locations. Both sides appear to be gazing warmly at the other.

Four people from wedding planning companies in the Indian megalopolis Delhi came to observe. In September of 2018, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Delhi office Chief Kenichi Takano contacted tourism industry contacts in Okinawa and set up the visit.

The group visited ANA Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort, Rizzan Sea Park Hotel Tancha Bay, and Shigira Resort in Miyakojima City.

In recent years, resort weddings have been on the rise in India, with Thailand and Bali in Indonesia being popular destinations. In particular, luxury hotels and beach resorts are hot spots. The weddings see roughly 150 people make come for three nights, four days, for a total expenditure that surpasses 50 million yen.

These Indian resort weddings often combine the traditional ceremonies held onsite along with the vibrant decorations, and top it all off with live music and DJ-led dancing.

Indian cuisine is a must for food, and there must be accommodation for vegetarians. The visiting group asked about past weddings, costs, and the pros and cons of different options.

One planner, Yogesh Kantiwar, said, “I can imagine the Indian red and yellow along with the blue of Okinawa making a rainbow.”

Tsunetaka Ishimine from IHG/ANA Hotel Group Japan, who led the tour of the Manza Beach Resort, said, “We get almost no visitors from India. Since we can arrange this, I would like to try and make it happen.”

(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)
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