Wedding tourism: Indian couples selling tickets to their big day
Australian travel bloggers Carly Stevens and Tim Gower have paid around $200 for a two-day invitation to attend an Indian wedding through a start-up called Join My Wedding.
“The concept was pretty new,” Delhi-based fund manager Surabhi Chauhan told CNBC, explaining that she came across the start-up while booking her wedding venue. “We were also getting to know people from other countries. We were very much excited and open about it, given the fact that it was new.”
Chauhan and her husband were introduced to Stevens and Gower. “We were chatting and coordinating, we had a brief introduction about each of us, what exactly we do, our respective profiles (and) what are the arrangements that will be there, the kind of attire they're supposed to wear — all those conversations happened,” she said.
To sell tickets to their wedding couples list details about the special day on the website.
“If you think about it, there's nothing more cultural than a wedding because you have every cultural element present: The local people, local food, customs, the outfit, the music, basically every cultural element is right there,” said the start-up's co-founder Orsi Parkanyi.
She explained that the idea came from her own experiences in missing out on friends' weddings. She decided to focus on Indian weddings because they are “world-famous” and the chances to attend them are not high for most non-Indians.
According to Parkanyi, travelers have already attended more than 100 Indian weddings through the start-up.
Apart from the ‘Join My Wedding’ start-up, many travel agencies and tour operators are also offering tour packages for international travelers to attend Indian wedding ceremonies during their visit. Experts estimate the Indian wedding industry to be worth about $40 billion and expect it to grow around 20 percent a year.
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