Thailand - a new destination for Indian wedding ceremonies

Thailand - a new destination for Indian wedding ceremonies

Thailand - a new destination for Indian wedding ceremonies

More and more Indians are choosing Phuket as also Bangkok for wedding functions for the last three years, say Thai tourism board officials and owners of restaurants and event management companies owned by Indians of Thai origin.

Sid Sehgal, the Thai-Indian owner of the restaurant Indus in a plush locality of Bangkok, said he had organised 40 Indian weddings in Thailand last year 28 such functions have already been held this year.

He said Thai tour operators and event management companies take up the entire responsibility of organising the weddings — right from transfer to and from airport in Phuket or Bangkok, holding the wedding ceremonies, reception, shopping and local transport.

Sehgal said many members of Marwari community from Kolkata had chosen Bangkok as the venue for weddings and people from other parts of India are also increasingly opting Thailand for the occasion.

While Bangkok has been hosting Indian wedding functions for the last few years, Phuket, the island resort built on abandoned tin mines in the southern part of Thailand, and Pattaya are also increasingly emerging as a new site for such events, say tour operators and Thailand tourism board officials.

This has given rise to what is being touted in Thailand as "marriage tourism" which also affords an opportunity for a honeymoon for the newly-wed couple on the exotic beaches in and around Phuket without much additional charges.

The travel to and from Thailand for weddings and the honeymoon can be had as part of a package which works out cheaper for people wanting to avail the opportunity, say tourism board officials and tour operators.

The holding of Indian weddings in Thailand has helped give a boost to burgeoning number of tourists from India to this country whose six per cent of GDP is contributed by the tourism sector.

Last year, the number of Indian tourists to Thailand was estimated at 530,000 — the highest so far - and this year the figure has already crossed the four lakh mark, according to Sansern Ngaorungsi, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and South Pacific) of Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Yet, India ranks behind China, Europe and the US in terms of foreign tourist arrivals in this country despite enjoying proximity.